New Year’s Day Dinner
Are you planning to dine on black-eyed peas and greens this New Year’s Day? Tradition tells us it will bring good luck and prosperity in the New Year. I cannot speak to the efficacy of this practice, though I admit that when I consider the events of 2013 I could use some of that luck. In any case this New Year’s Day will find me in the kitchen with my peas and greens. I love black-eyed peas and look forward to New Year’s Day as the perfect opportunity to cook them.
The greens are always a bit more of a challenge. I do eat greens but they are not my favorite, especially collard greens. Having recently moved back to the south I have had my share of opportunities to eat collard greens over the past year. Once or twice I would say they were good. More often their taste was bland and their color, less than inviting. That lackluster result discourages me from using the slow-cooked method to prepare collard greens.
A New Way
At Thanksgiving I flagged a recipe in Southern Living that took a new approach. It was for a beautiful salad that featured collard greens. I liked that it was a green salad you could dress in advance, in fact needed to dress in advance, to tenderize the greens. The dressing and added ingredients were also appealing.
Here I have simplified the recipe. Rather than an assortment of pricey greens for the salad I have focused on the collard greens. Cranberries add a touch of color and tangy flavor. Avocado and bacon add texture and round out the flavors. The dressing balances the bright flavor of fresh lemon juice with the spicy depth of garlic and Dijon mustard. The sum is a lovely salad that will add a fresh perspective to a traditional New Year’s Day meal.
Adapted from a recipe in Southern Living
1 bunch fresh collard greens (8 ounces)
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup toasted pecans, chopped
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
Wash collard greens. Trim and discard stems and tough stalks from the center of the leaves. Stack remaining leaves and roll up beginning at one long side. Slice the roll at ¼-inch intervals to yield long thin strips of collard leaves.
Prepare Lemon Dressing by whisking together ingredients until smooth.
Toss collard strips, cranberries and Lemon Dressing in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until almost ready to serve.
Just before serving toss avocado, pecans and bacon with collard mixture.
Serve and enjoy!