I’m finally dropping another recipe for my collard green friends. I know you’re out there. And for the rest of you, come along and let me make you a believer. Our garden is in transition this year, so I had my mom plant a bunch of collards in her garden. She reminds me regularly that she doesn’t like collards that much, but she takes such good care of them. Just look at these gorgeous plants. Collards are perfectly suited for Southern gardens. They continually grow giant leaves up their stalks, providing tons of food. I’ve had plants last over a year, even through our brutal summer heat. They are the number one thing I recommend everyone plant in their garden. But… I’m always surprised how many people, especially Southerners, say they do not like collard greens. Some people just can’t get beyond the overcooked vegetables of their youth. Eating them raw? Almost unheard of around here. It feels like kale suddenly went mainstream and collards were left behind. They’re just kale without the frills; every bit as versatile, healthy, and delicious. Here is my contender for a collard salad that’s every bit as good as the infamous kale Caesar.
Here are my tricks: The longer the collard leaves sit in the dressing, the more tender they become. But, if you need to ease into it, try mixing chopped collards with basic lettuce, like romaine or iceberg. They’re great together. I like mostly collards with a little iceberg, but you could flip that around. It’s just like when you transition your pet to a new food, you just up the ratio of collards every time. Over time you find the perfect balance for your house, for your pets. The dressing is a honey mustard vinaigrette, and that flavor with fresh collard leaves is just divine to me. It’s topped with a rainbow of traditional Cobb salad fixins, along with a few extras: chickpeas, eggs, blue cheese, tomatoes, avocado, pickled red onions, and bacon. Every bite is a new and wonderful combination of textures and flavors. These are all suggestions, of course. Omit the bacon if you’re vegetarian, swap out the type of cheese, or throw in some toasted pepitas for extra crunch. Cucumber and radishes are always welcome to the party. Make it your own, and hopefully make it your new house salad.
Collard Cobb Salad
- 10 cups chopped collard leaves or a combination with iceberg or romaine
- 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
- 4 sliced cooked bacon, crumbled
- 2 cups sliced cherry tomatoes
- 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/3 cup pickled red onions recipe follows
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1 cup chickpeas
- salt and pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup olive oil
Pickled Red Onions
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
- Combine the garlic, salt, pepper, mustard, and vinegar in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.
For the Salad
- Arrange the collard and lettuce in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with about half a cup of vinagrette and toss to coat. Arrange all the toppings on top, in rows if you like, and sprinkle salt and pepper over the eggs, avocado, and tomatoes. Drizzle a little extra vinaigrette on top, if you like, and serve the rest on the side to add to taste.
Pickled Red Onions
- Whisk the cider, honey, and salt in a pint-sized jar or glass container. Add the sliced onion, and make sure it's completely submerged. If not, you can add a little more vinegar to cover. Allow to sit at least an hour before using. Keeps for a couple weeks in the fridge.
That looks delicious! We’re always looking for more ways to use our collards. And yes, your mom’s collards look amazing!
Thanks, Julie! We enjoyed every bit of the collards you gave us. Your tomatoes are exceptionally sweet!
I love your devotion to collards. I admit I’ve never paid them much attention, but maybe that’s just the yankee in me. Your enthusiasm inspires me enough to want to grow them now, and this salad?? Yes. Definitely yes.
I will die on this hill.