I've always loved collard greens, but usually in a stewed, completely cooked-down form, with lots of broth flavored with smoky meat. But eating the greens raw never occurred to me until recently, when they were suggested as a sandwich bread substitute. Turns out they're a great, light alternative when you're looking for something other than bread.
I always assumed raw collard greens would be tough, fibrous, and have an unpleasant vegetal taste. Instead, they're a bit sweet, mild in flavor, sturdy enough to use as wraps, and great with standard sandwich fillings.
This chicken salad gets a nice punch of Indian flavor from curry powder, and a hint of sweetness from raisins. It starts with an easy dressing of Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, and scallions. I like Greek yogurt since it isn't as heavy as mayonnaise, but by itself, it's a bit sour and intense for me (don't use nonfat yogurt here; it's too chalky-tasting). Mixing in a touch of mayonnaise helps to balance everything out.
This chicken salad works well in the collard wrap, but you can also throw it on top of crackers, or go the standard route with bread.
Collard Green Chicken Salad Wraps
1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups (about 1 pound) shredded or chopped cooked chicken
1/4 cup raisins, regular or golden
1/2 bunch collard greens, tough center stems removed
Mix the yogurt, mayonnaise, curry powder, scallions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the chicken and raisins and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or curry powder as needed.
Place the collard green leaves shiny-side down on a work surface. Divide the chicken salad among the leaves, placing the chicken salad across the top. Roll each leaf up like a burrito: Fold the bottom up over the filling, fold the sides in, and then roll tightly from the bottom up. Cut each wrap in half if desired (or if the leaf naturally splits where the stem is).
(Image credits: Melissa Ryan)