Many of our favorite dishes successfully cover the spicy-salty-sour-sweet spectrum of flavors, and are therefore immensely satisfying (Thai food, we're looking at you). These flavorful, portable wraps achieve something similar. Brilliant green leaves are stuffed with fluffy brown rice as a canvas for salty and savory umeboshi and liquid smoke, tart lemon juice, and sweet blueberries and orange juice. Serve up your spice on the side by roasting shelled edamame in a simple, irresistible blend of spices.
If you've never made collard wraps before, don't be shy. Blanched collard leaves make gorgeous bright green wrappers that are surprisingly sturdy and easy to work with.
Savory Citrus-Blueberry Collard Dolmas
1 small/medium red onion (5-6 oz total weight), peeled and finely diced
2 umeboshi plums, pitted and minced
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 cups water
1 cup dry brown basmati rice (or rice of your choice)
10-12 small/medium collard leaves (collard leaves can be quite large, so even small leaves won't actually be small--look for leaves about the size of your hand with your fingers spread wide), or about 6 large, if you can't find smaller leaves
1/2 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
juice and zest of 1 lemon
large handful parsley (scant bunch)
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP orange juice (from a carton/bottle is just fine)
pinch fine sea salt or kosher salt
Combine the red onion, umeboshi, liquid smoke, and 2 cups water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the rice, cover, bring back to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes.
While the rice cooks, prepare the edamame (see below). While the edamame cooks, trim the collard leaves: With scissors, cut out the thick middle stem by cutting a "v" upwards into the leaf. You won't get rid of the middle vein entirely, but you do want the thickest, tough portion gone. You'll cut about a third of the way up into the leaf; halfway, if it's necessary. Stack them, neatly spread out, on top of each other.
Bring a pot of water to boil (large enough to fit all your leaves with several inches of space left at the top of the pot). Carefully submerge the stack of collard leaves into the boiling water and cook until very bright green and tender, 1-2 minutes. (Note that they'll brighten very quickly, but keep cooking for a minute to ensure your leaves are tender to the tooth.) Drain well and set aside.
Combine the blueberries, lemon juice and zest, and parsley in a chopper or small food processor and process until finely chopped. When the rice is finished, stir the blueberry-parsley mixture into the rice and set aside.
To assemble, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, orange juice, and salt. Lay one collard leaf flat, brush with the oil-juice mixture and place a scant 1/4 cup of filling down near the top of the "v" you cut into the leaf. Fold in the sides and roll it up. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling.
Spiced Roasted Edamame
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/16-1/8 tsp ground cayenne, to taste
1/8 tsp salt
1 TBSP vegetable oil (we used peanut)
Preheat the oven to 400.
Toss all ingredients together well and roast until edamame is browning and has crisped a bit, 35-40 minutes. (Alternately, you can continue to roast until crunchy, but be very carefuly not to burn.)