I know what you’re thinking. Raw collards… in a salad? Not so sure about that.
I honestly felt the same way when I found this recipe, but then I remembered how much I like to use raw collard greens as wraps and thought I’d give it a try. So glad I did, because it actually turned out great! Just like with marinated kale salads, the oil wilts the greens and makes them more palatable – perfect as a base for a salad.
The funny thing about this collard green salad (at least to me) is that it still kind of looks like regular ol’ soul food collards with the bacon and all.
Only the “bacon” bits are actually sun-dried tomato pieces.
- 1 bunch collard greens, washed
- ⅛ cup olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 6-8 chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- ⅓ cup onion, chopped
- 1-3 cloves raw garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- De-stem and chop the collard greens. An easy way to de-stem collard greens is by folding them in half lengthwise along the stem with the darker green side down and then pull up the stem until it comes off and you’re left mostly with leaf. An easy way to chop the collards is to stack a few leaves, roll them up into a cigar shape and cut the through the collard cylinder, making strips.
- Place strips in a large bowl. Pour olive oil on collard strips and sprinkle on salt. Massage the oil and salt into the strips with your hands until all pieces are well coated.
- Whisk together apple cider vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and ground pepper.
- Pour apple cider vinegar dressing over the collard green strips. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours, but overnight is best.
I’m quite certain I could fool some folks into trying this salad by telling them that it has bacon in it. Once they’ve had a bite, they won’t care that it doesn’t have bacon because it tastes so yummy. Hmm… I wonder how that would go over with Isaac’s family at Thanksgiving dinner? 😉
Probably not the best idea but I could still bring this as a side dish for Thanksgiving. I’m pretty certain it would be a crowd pleaser.
Like all leafy greens, collard greens have a ton of vitamins and minerals, but most of the time they are submerged in water or cooked for long periods, reducing some of their nutritional content. Not so with this salad – you get to take full advantage of all the nutritional benefits! And it’s the perfect salad for fall/winter because collards are abundant this time of year and the raw garlic + red pepper flakes add a little heat that will warm you right up. Which reminds me, if you don’t like spicy things, I would use a little less garlic and crushed red pepper than the recipe recommends because it does have a punch.
One word of caution, the dressing on this salad has a little bit of a pungent smell. I think it’s the apple cider vinegar and the raw garlic that does it. It’s really not THAT bad but I wouldn’t recommend packing it up to take with you on a plane. The only reason I’m saying this is because it IS travel season and I’m always THAT girl – the one with the stinky food on the plane. As soon as I made this salad I started thinking about some funny experience with me taking this salad on a plane and embarrassing Isaac again. So yeah, that’s just a little warning – but please don’t let that stop you from making this.
In a nut shell, I highly recommend giving raw collard greens a chance – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Happy Thanksgiving week!