When I first saw these greens art the local market, I thought they were kale or swiss chard because of the curly edges and lumpy leaves, but no, they were organic collard greens. So I bought some along with a package of LIGHT LIFE JUMBO SMART DOGS and did the only logical thing.
It’s such an easy appetizer. It’s novel and delicious, so it becomes a conversation starter. Unlike run-of-the-mill collards, these organic greens didn’t have that thick fibrous vein running down the middle that had to be discarded. If you don’t find these particulars, use the run-of-the-mill and still enjoy every bite.
Directions: 15 minute collard greens
1 bunch fresh collard greens
• (use only fresh; do not use yellowish/green or partially yellowed tipped greens; they will take forever to cook and not taste very good; do not ever use musty greens, even if they appear super green – cooking will not remove the musty smell)
Unwrap greens and discard any outer leaves that are brown-tinged, broken and otherwise look bruised.
Lay one leaf at a time on a board or countertop. Using a large knife start at the smallest part of the stalk which is located near the top of the leaf, and draw the knife down along the side of the stalk to the end. Do the same with the other side. Discard stalk. Repeat with remaining leaves and stalks.
Place leaves into large bowl filled with tap water in sink. Wash thoroughly to remove all dirt and/or sand. Rinse very well under new/fresh water.
Bring several quarts of water in pot to boil. Do not salt. Place collards in boiling water and submerge using large spoon. Partially cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring now and then.
When tender lift from boiling water into colander. Check for tenderness by ripping off a piece and tasting it.
And you’re done. Perfect collard greens every time. Use as directed in a recipe or eat plain, as is, just like they are straight from the pot. No need for oil, citrus and seasoning. No salt and pepper wanted.
NOW, WITH THESE ORGANICS, I didn’t have to cut the vein out of all of them because they were naturally more tender than inorganic collards. I waited till after they were cooked and cooled to remove the veins.
1- Remove the veins from the cooked collards where you need to and superimpose one leaf segment over another if required for the JUMBO VEGGIE DOGS. The toothpick at the end will keep everything in place.
2- Pan-fry the veggie dogs whole in a little oil, till evenly cooked on all sides and throughout centers.
3- Lay each cooked leaf on countertop. Blot dry with paper towels.
4- Spread with mustard of choice. I used Poupon Dijon Mustard mixed with dried tarragon leaves, a little celery seed and a little garlic powder.
5- Place one hot dog at end of leaf and gently roll like a cigar. Turn sides in as you roll, or wait till end of roll and fold ends in like your tucking a roll of pennies.
6- Place more oil in skillet, and briefly cook the whole collard-wrapped veggie dogs, being careful not to unroll them. Do not leave stove. Lift to board.
7- When ready to serve, cut them into 3/4 inch wide rounds.
8- Insert a toothpick down through the top to the bottom of each round, through the leaf part.
9- Place on a platter and serve.
10- These are fine served at room temperature.