Smokey Collard Rolls

Maybe you love to cook? Maybe you’re sick of the monotony of eating the same things over and over? Maybe it’s the weekend and you want to fill your home with the delicious smell of a home-cooked meal? Maybe you’re trapped in your house due to treacherous weather conditions? Well, have I got the recipe for you! This recipe takes time to put together, but the pay off is savory, smokey deliciousness.

Maple syrup, spicy jalapeno, hickory flavored liquid smoke, red miso, soy sauce and oodles of ancho chili powder and sweet paprika. These Southern-inspired collard rolls are not skimping on flavor. This recipe takes time to execute, but there is something really satisfying about cutting into a roll and getting to enjoy the savory goodness inside. And to top things off, these gluten free bad boys taste even better the next day.

A few notes… I used canned Native Forest Organic Young Jackfruit packed in water. If you don’t have access to jackfruit or would prefer to use something else, you can substitute 3 cups of black-eyed peas. If you don’t have access to liquid smoke, all is not lost. You can still create smoky goodness by substituting smoked paprika for the sweet paprika. It won’t be quite so BBQ-y or kissed with hickory, but it will still be ok. Finally, it can be tough to get all your collard leaves the same size. As long as they are roughly the same size and large, it’s all good. I did 4 rows with 3 rolls per row (or used 3 leaves per row), but if your leaves are somewhat smaller, you could probably get 4 rows with 4 rolls per row (using 4 leaves per row).

Serve with a side of fluffy mashed potatoes. So good.

Smokey Collard Rolls

1 medium onion, finely chopped

5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tsp olive oil

1 large jalapeño, finely chopped (remove the seeds, if sensitive to heat)

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp sweet paprika

2 tsp ancho chili powder

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed into small pieces

2 14 ounce cans of young jackfruit packed in water, drained, rinsed and shredded – (see note above)

2 Tbsp maple syrup

2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

1/2-1 tsp hickory flavored liquid smoke (see note above)

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 14.5 ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1 6 ounce can of tomato paste

1 cup water

1 tsp red miso

12-16 large collard leaves (see note above)

1. In a large pot, add onion, garlic and olive oil. Saute over medium heat for 7 minutes or until the onions are golden. Spoon 1/2 of the onion-garlic mixture into a blender. Leave the rest of the onions and garlic in the pot. Set the blender aside for later in the recipe.

2. Add the jalapeño, thyme, paprika and chili powder to the pot. Saute for 2 minutes, then, stir in the sweet potatoes. Saute for 3 minutes.

3. Add the jackfruit, maple syrup, soy sauce, and liquid smoke to the pot. Stir until well combined, and cook an additional 3 minutes–stirring frequently. Spoon into a large mixing bowl and add in the cooked brown rice. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary (more soy sauce? more maple syrup? more liquid smoke?). Set aside to cool.

4. In the blender with the onions and garlic in it, add the fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, water and miso. Blend until mostly smooth, and then, set aside.

Running the knife along the midrib
After the midrib has been shaved down with the knife

5. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Submerge the collard leaves in it for 1-2 minutes–using a wooden spoon to gently push them under the water. Remove them from the water and rinse with cold water. The leaves should be very pliable. Run a sharp knife along the midrib, and shave off part of it (see pictures above). This process will make the rolls easier to fold. Repeat until all the midribs are shaved down. Set leaves aside in a stack with the shaved midribs facing up.

6. Spread 1/3 of the sauce across the bottom of a 9″ X 13″ baking pan. Preheat the oven to 375º F. You are now ready to start folding the rolls.

7. Put 2 generous spoonfuls of filling towards the bottom of the leaf.

8. Fold up the bottom.

9. Fold up the sides.

10. Roll it up, and then, trim away any excess leaf.

11. Place in the 9″ X 13″ baking pan. Repeat until all the rolls are folded and the pan is full. Spread the remaining tomato sauce from the blender over the top. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 375º F for 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.

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