Top: tuna-collard wrap from Happy Bellies
with cooked spinach, grated carrots and
diced avocado. Center: hummus-collard wrap from The Pomelo Blog, with ham, tomato,
cucumber and sprouts. Bottom: For
portability or neater eating, tie a piece of
parchment or wax paper around the wrap.
Photo of Reuben collard wrap courtesy Spring
A few days ago, with the announcement of the new USDA Nutrition Guidelines, we mentioned collard wraps as a better-for-you sandwich option that fit right in.
HOW TO BUILD A COLLARD WRAP
There are two basic ways to make a collard wrap:
Simply cut off the stem (you can save it for salad or steaming) and trim down or remove the spine so the leaf will lie flat. If you remove the spine, you simply overlap both sides of the leaf, and fill and roll as if it were a whole leaf.
We like to first blanch or lightly steam the leaves to make them more flexible and easier to both roll and bite.
Whether or not you blanch, place the leaf underside-up, load the ingredients on one side of the underside, and roll like a burrito: Fold up the bottom, fold in the sides and roll. Here’s a video.
Collard wraps can be vegetarian or vegan, or rolled with eggs, fish/seafood, meat or poultry.
Proteins can be main ingredients or accents: cheese, chopped nuts, fish/seafood, legumes (beans, lentils), meat, seeds, seitan/tofu, sprouts, whole grains
Vegetables: mashed/puréed, pickled, raw, roasted, steamed
Condiments: barbecue sauce, chili sauce, cranberry sauce, guacamole, horseradish sauce, hummus, ketchup, mayonnaise/aïoli, mustard, nut butter, pesto, pickle relish, salsa, tahini, tapenade, Thai peanut sauce, vinaigrette or other salad dressing, yogurt or any dip or spread.
Spices: You can sprinkle the fillings with any spice, from curry to sesame seed.
Herbs: You can add dry or fresh herbs (we like fresh basil, chives, cilantro, dill, ginger, horseradish, mint and parsley).
Fruit: You can add sweet notes with fresh or dried fruit.
Heat: If you prefer heat to sweet, add red chili flakes, diced jalapeño and/or a splash of hot sauce.
Zest: If you have fresh lemons and limes, grate in some zest.
Like any wrap or other sandwich, the creativity is up to you. You can simply roll up egg or tuna salad in the collard, or use a variety of different ingredients for layered flavors and textures. You can also accent your wrap with a dipping sauce.
While they don’t get as much press as collard wraps, Swiss chard and Savoy cabbage make equally good wraps.