Friday, May 25, 2012

Tassajara Warm Collard Salad

This is going to be a new go-to recipe for me, it was so tasty and easy to make!  My friend Heather suggested this recipe from 101 Cookbooks and recommended that I substitute collards for the cabbage because that's what I got in the CSA share this week.  Next week I'm thinking about trying it again with was that good!  I'm sure kale or another leafy green would work as well.

Fresh rosemary is a key ingredient in the recipe.  I'm not sure if dried would have the same effect.  If anyone reading this lives close to me, stop by my house and get some rosemary from the giant bush of it that I have.  I bought a small plant a few years ago, and that thing has survived multiple transplants, two or three winters and will not die.  I recommend making an investment in a rosemary will last a long time!
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
  • fine grain sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 5 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of collards (or a head of red cabbage or radicchio), quartered and cut into thin ribbons
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 ounces golden (or regular) raisins (or other plump, chopped dried fruit)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish

1.  Roast the sunflower seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Sprinkle on the sugar, and a couple pinches of salt. Stir until the sugar melts and coats the seeds (you pan will need to be hot enough). Transfer the seeds immediately to a plate so they don't stick to the pan. Set aside.

2.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and saute the onion for a minutes or two with a couple pinches of salt. Stir in the garlic, and the collards, and a few more pinches of salt. Stir and cook for just a minute or so, or until the collards soften up just a touch. Then stir in the rosemary, most of the raisins, and the vinegar. The collards will continue to get more and more tender even after you remove it from the heat, so keep that in mind, and do your best to avoid overcooking it - where it collapses entirely.

3.  Fold in half of the feta cheese, most of the sunflower seeds, then taste. Season with more salt if needed. Serve garnished with the remaining raisins, feta, sunflower seeds and Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4 to 6.

Health Benefits

Rosemary - Rosemary contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks. In addition, rosemary has been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration. Tea made from a thumb-sized piece has been known to lift spirits in people suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and hangovers. Infuse warm red wine with rosemary, cinnamon, and cloves to soothe winter colds.  More here.

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