The Perfect Fall Salad
Next week our school book fair begins. What does that have to do with collard green salad, you say? Texans love a good potluck and my favorite one of the year happens to be at our school book fair. It’s a group effort and a hodge podge of everything from pimento cheese to King Ranch Casserole and homemade toffee. A couple years ago, I decided to throw together a green salad to bring as my potluck offering and this is the happy result.
Collard green salad is a delicious alternative to tender greens or kale. It has a mild flavor and stands up to tart dressings. When paired with shredded Brussels sprouts, pecorino, apples, pecans and pomegranates, it’s the perfect fall salad.
What do raw collard greens taste like?
Raw collard greens are mild and almost milky in flavor. You may be more familiar with Southern-style stewed collard greens cooked low and slow with bacon or ham hock. They can sometimes taste bitter from overcooking, but raw collard greens are a milder and fresher flavor.
Are collard greens good for you?
Dark leafy greens, like kale, Swiss chard, spinach and collards, have a healthy dose of magnesium and Vitamin K, which is important for bone health.
Why do collard greens make a good salad?
Collards don’t wilt as quickly as tender greens and can be dressed ahead of time. Collard greens can be substituted for kale in almost any salad recipe, and they’re an abundant fall vegetable.
Add this raw collard green salad to your Thanksgiving menu. You can dress the salad an hour ahead of time and it won’t get soggy while sitting on your buffet.
A few tips:
- Don’t worry about peeling the apple. The skin is good for you and adds beautiful color.
- Use your food processor to finely shred the Brussels sprouts, or carefully shred the Brussels with a mandolin or sharp chef’s knife.
- Make the apple cider vinaigrette in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Let the chopped shallots marinate in the apple cider vinegar for 10-15 minutes before adding the remaining vinaigrette ingredients.
- Be sure to cut out the center stem out of the collard greens. Stack them up and roll into a tight cylinder and cut very thin.
- Use good quality extra-virgin olive oil in the dressing and after the salad is dressed, top with a sprinkle of crunchy sea salt.
Collard Green and Brussels Salad with Apples, Pomegranate Seeds and Pecans
- 1 bunch of collard greens about 1 pound
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts trimmed and pulsed in the food processor
- 4 ounces Pecorino cheese finely grated on a microplaner
- 1 large honey crisp apple chopped into ½-inch dice, about 1 ½ cups
- ½ cup pecan pieces
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
For the vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot you can substitute 1 teaspoon minced garlic if you prefer
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Cut out the center rib of each collard leaf. Stack the leaves and cut crosswise into very thin strips. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Combine with the Brussels sprouts, pecans, pecorino and apples. Toss to combine with apple cider-Dijon vinaigrette (recipe follows). You may only need about half the vinaigrette; save the remainder for a delicious mixed green salad.
- To make the dressing, in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid combine all the ingredients. Seal tightly and shake to emulsify. Alternately, in a medium size bowl add the first four ingredients. Whisk in the olive oil to emulsify.
- Keep the dressing covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. Let the salad dressing come to room temperature before shaking and tossing with your greens.
Photos courtesy of Memorial Hermann