I know, it’s a kale world out there. Kale this, kale that, kale, kale, kale. But, there’s another green that is also super yummy and great in salads but has been overlooked in these kale-trendy times: collard greens. You can even mix your collards with kale. Oh, yes, you really can!
I first started eating raw collards as a lower calorie, gluten-free alternative wrap for wrap sandwiches. I realized that my kids were most apt to eat collards raw versus cooked, which is similar to kale in my household. From here, I tried cutting collards into small pieces for salads and realized that it’s the perfect change when kale has become a little too … expected. Plus, it’s just plain healthy to mix up your greens for different vitamins and minerals.
Another great thing about collard greens, similarly to kale, is that you can dress the salad hours before you serve it (which sometimes comes in very handy when prepping a lot of food) and it holds up very well … unlike weaker lettuces.
For this salad, I used this simple vinaigrette dressing, but added some pureed ginger to it. After washing, drying and removing the central veins of the collards, the best way to cut them is to roll them up and slice them into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch slivers. Then, hand massage the dressing into the collards (take your time) and wait at least 15 minutes for soft and delicious greens. Add your preferred toppings and a little more dressing, and it’s ready to serve.
For extra ease and protein, I like to thaw large, frozen, cooked shrimp. Then, I toss them in some more of the vinaigrette for about 30 minutes.
No matter how you prepare your salad, try the delicious option of raw collards in place of your typical salad green.
Raw Collard Greens Salad
- 2 bunches of collard greens, washed and dried with the center vein removed.
- Optional: pre-chopped and cleaned kale found in the vegetable section at Kroger (this makes prep faster)
- 2-pound bag of frozen, large and cooked shrimp. Peel if needed.
- 1 pomegranate
- ½ yellow bell pepper, chopped
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 ruby red grapefruit
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 1 cup basic vinaigrette recipe with 1 tablespoon of pureed ginger added (recipe linked below)
- Maldon sea salt flakes
- Roll the collards and then cut them into ¼- to ½-inch slivers. If you prefer, add as much or as little (depending on how large a salad you want) of pre-chopped and cleaned kale. (This makes prep faster as the pre-chopped kale is ready to go from the bag and easy to find)
- Use ⅓ cup of the vinaigrette and in a large bowl, massage the dressing into the greens. Let stand for at least 15 minutes.
- A couple of hours before you serve your salad, or at least 30 minutes before, thaw the shrimp and toss with ½ cup of the vinaigrette to marinate for a bit.
- Toss the greens with the yellow bell pepper and onion and two tablespoons more of vinaigrette. Place on a large serving platter.
- Top the salad with the almonds and sunflower seeds.
- Peel the grapefruit and slice it into half circles and place around the rim of the platter, on top of the salad.
- Slice up the avocado into long slices and place next to the grapefruit around the platter.
- Cut open the pomegranate and scoop seeds on top of salad.
- Lastly, pinch some Maldon sea salt flakes and sprinkle across the top of the salad.
Find the Basic Vinaigrette Recipe, HERE.