Braised Collard Rolls
I live alone, so I’m always on the hunt for delicious, healthy, freezer-friendly meals. These collard rolls—adapted from an old-fashioned cabbage roll recipe—are a favorite of mine. This recipe doubles incredibly easily, and tastes even better leftover the next day.
- 8 large unbroken collard leaves, washed
- 3/4 cup raw brown rice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, half finely diced, half sliced
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 2 large or 4 small garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 quart (4 cups) chicken broth
1Cut the thick center ribs and stems away from the collard leaves. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water, then add collard leaves and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove from the pot and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
2Add brown rice to the pot of boiling water. Cook for 15 minutes, then drain the rice and rinse with cold water. Shake or pat off any excess water, and set aside.
3While the rice cooks, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion, cumin, and a pinch of salt, and sweat for 5-6 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more, or until the mixture is incredibly fragrant. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool while the rice finishes cooking.
4In a large mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, egg, par-cooked rice, and cooked onion mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined. Divide the filling into 8 portions.
5Preheat the oven to 350º F. Working one at a time, lay a collard leaf out in front of you. Place one portion of the filling mixture towards the end of the leaf closest to you, and fold that end over the filling. Fold in the sides and roll up the leaf over the filling, as if you were making a burrito. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.
6Place half of the sliced onion in the bottom of a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven. Lay the collard rolls in an even layer on top of the onions, seam side down. Top with the rest of the sliced onions. Add tomato sauce, broth, and salt to taste.
7Cover the pot and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the rolls are fork-tender and the filling is fully cooked.
8Remove the pot from the oven and let sit, covered, for 30 minutes before serving. Serve the rolls with some of the braising liquid spooned over the top.
9The collard rolls will keep in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to 3 days. For freezer storage, lay cooked and cooled collard rolls on a foil-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid, then transfer to a zip-top bag. Save the braising liquid and freeze it separately. The rolls will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months; reheat them with some of the braising liquid.
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