Friday, June 18, 2010

Collards and Portobello Mushrooms

Vegetarian collard greens could easily turn out dull and uninteresting, but a little garlic and orange juice do the trick nicely to punch these up. The mushrooms stand in for meat and fill out this totally gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan dish, which goes exceptionally well with pasta or as a side dish vegetable.


2 large bunches of collard greens (see below for preparation instructions)
1 Portobello mushroom sliced thin
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 crushed cloves of garlic
2 tbsp. grated orange peel (fresh-grated is best)
juice from one fresh-squeezed large orange (do not substitute orange juice—if you don’t have an orange handy, use a lemon, preferably a sweet one like a Meyer)
salt to taste


Fill a large pot with enough water to amply cover the collards once they are chopped, add a teaspoon of salt and bring the water to a boil.

Slice the Portobello mushroom into thin pieces. First slice up the mushroom and then cut each slice in half again the long way so that you have long thin mushroom pieces. Set the mushroom aside. Squeeze the juice from one orange and set that aside too.

Remove the central stem from the collards. Place 4-6 leaves on top of each other and roll them up width-wise into a tight tube, then slice them into thin strips. Follow this pattern with all the collards until they are all cut into thin shreds. When the water comes to a boil, simmer the collards, uncovered, for 8 minutes. While the collards are cooking, fill a large bowl with ice water. After the collards have cooked for 8 minutes, drain them in a colander and place them into the ice water, which will help them retain their bright green color.

Put the oil into a deep dish frying pan and bring it to a high heat, then turn it back to medium and place the garlic and mushrooms in the pan. Sauté the garlic and mushrooms, turning gently, for 2-3 minutes (until the mushrooms are cooked but not slimy). Add the collards (and ½ teaspoon of salt if you are a salt eater) and the grated orange peel. Continue to sauté for another 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the orange juice and cook for another 30 seconds to warm up the juice. This dish is best if served immediately.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!

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