Collard green rolls are a quick, wholesome meal or snack that can be made by combining leftover grains with a handful of vegetables, and wrapping them up with luscious collard leaves. Collard greens are related to kale, broccoli and all of the other beloved brassica family members, and they are one of the sturdiest greens available.
Collard greens are fine to eat raw, and you can use them uncooked in the recipe below. However, they are a very tough green—requiring lots of chewing—so I prefer them briefly blanched as we’ll do in this recipe. You can also cook them a bit further with a bit of oil in a skillet to soften them further. You can swap collard greens with kale in most recipes; for example, they would be especially good as a replacement for kale in my Sweet Kale Sauté, found here.
When I worked at the deli of a small natural foods shop on Maui, making these collard rolls was one of my daily tasks. First, I’d make a giant batch of a creamy nut and seed pate, then I’d wrap up collards (and often Swiss chard) into pretty, delicous snacks for hungry surfers and beach-goers, and I thought it would be a fun throwback to replicate them here. For this recipe I’ve made a quick version of my fermented cashew cheese (which requires overnight fermentation) and combined cashews with some sweet carrots and sun-dried tomatoes for a deeper flavor. You could also serve these with hummus or a tahini dressing. This simple preparation allows you to experiment with your favorite fillings and dressings to make a collection of delicious wraps.
Collard Green Rolls with Cashew Cheese
To Make the Cashew Cheese:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight (or at least 1 hour)
1 lemon or lime
2 cups shredded carrots, divided
1-2 sun-dried tomatoes
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon dried garlic or garlic powder
Pinch of salt
To Make the Rolls:
1 bunch of collard green leaves
2 cups cooked brown rice, quinoa, or other grains
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
Thinly sliced onions, optional
Spouts, any variety, optional (I love to use sunflower sprouts here)
- To make the Cashew Cheese: Rinse and drain the cashews.
- In a food processor or blender, blend the cashews, lemon, vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1 cup of shredded carrots, garlic, and salt. Blend until smooth, adding 1-2 Tablespoons of water to ensure even blending. Once blended fully, set aside. This can be made in advance!
- To prepare the greens: De-stem collard greens by removing the whole stem or shaving the thicker parts of the stem from the back. This will depend on the size of your leaves, and is also a person preference. See the video here for more details—forthcoming!
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Drop the leaves into the water, swish around to blanch fully, then remove after just 5 seconds. Set aside on a towel or layer onto a colander. Let the leaves cool fully.
- In a bowl, toss together quinoa and remaining 1 cup of the shredded carrots.
- Lay out one collard leaf on a large cutting board. Spread 1-2 Tablespoons of the cashew cheese atop the leaf, then add quinoa/carrot mixture, a few slices of red pepper and other toppings, if using, and roll like a sushi roll. If the leaf is too small, layer two leaves overlapping to make one larger, contained roll.
Yields: 5-10 vegetable rolls (more depending on the size of your collard bunch and how you choose to cut the wraps!)