A Definite First – Collard Greens Burritos

I love a challenge.  Last week that challenge came in the form of COLLARD GREENS which appeared in my weekly produce box. What?!  I admit I had to take a step back on that one.

Googling efforts produced a good chuckle anyway.  My favorite entry was titled “Do white people eat collard greens?”  Though racist and not the kind of question I would think of popping off with, I have to admit that it made me think.  This white person had never eaten collard greens.  I started to wonder why.  Well first off, my culinary exposure sprouts from two distinct geographic locations: Ohio and France.  Enough said – I don’t think I need to go into any deeper explanation on that one.  Secondly, collard greens just aren’t jumping up and down in the produce aisles I frequent squeaking out “pick me, pick me!”  And finally, my usual online haunts, like Epicurious, aren’t regularly featuring collard greens as the latest, hippest food in town.  So there you have it.  As a result of these three little factors, this white person had never eaten collard greens.  Bummer for me.

So after deciding that I wouldn’t be fixing up any chitlins, hog jowl, ham hocks or pigs feet to accompany my collard greens, I set out to find a recipe that that would allow me to use my beautiful greens AND keep the cooking style in line with what we usually eat.  After all, the collard green is considered one of the world’s healthiest veggies and I didn’t want to pass up its health benefits just because I wasn’t going to be frying them up in pork fat.

I came up with a lovely idea of burritos using the collard greens in place of the tortilla and off we went.

I started by removing the stems from the collard greens.  Each green will make two separate wraps.  After the stems were removed. I placed the greens in boiling water for about 4 minutes.   Then I pulled them out and transferred to ice water.

In a large skillet, I sautéed up some onion and bell pepper.  I think I may have tossed a small chili in there too for some extra heat.

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Once those were nice and golden, I added in some brown rice and 3/4 of a can of diced tomatoes.  I also tossed in some chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and a smidge of cayenne.

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I mixed that up well, and started to spread about 1/2 c. of the mixture into each collard green half.

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I rolled each leaf up and then lined them in a 9×13″ baking pan.  I scattered some Mexican cheese blend over the top and then the remaining diced tomatoes.  Into the oven it went at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes – just long enough to make sure everything was piping hot.

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So there you go . . . who knew incorporating collard greens into a weeknight staple could be so easy!

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Here is the complete recipe for Collard Greens Burritos.

Want to explore more collard greens recipes?  Take a peek.

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