I’ve been meaning to make Andie’s baked falafel for awhile now, and finally got around to it last weekend. J and I loved them so much, I whipped up a double batch tonight, and took the opportunity to try another idea I’ve been toying with: to use collard greens as the wrap instead of pita or a tortilla. Hmm…
I mean, it sounds like a healthy idea, right? It also sounds so….green. I don’t mean “green” like ecologically sound, but “green” like grassy. Like it might look pretty and all, but it could very well taste like your Christmas tree. Or a sharpened pencil (Ed note: Because a dull pencil would taste any better?). I’ll admit, I was a bit fearful- so much so that I left the two bunches (hey- go big or go home, right?) of collards I’d purchased sit in the fridge for four days before even attempting to make this wrap. Every time I’d go into my veggie drawer, there they were, like “Um, hello? Are you going to use me or what?” But somehow their behemoth emerald presence made me a bit….anxious.
Well, I’ll cut to the chase and tell you they aren’t scary at all. Not even a tiny bit. I did a little Googling and combined several different methods for prepping the leaves. I shaved the fat parts of the stems down carefully with a pairing knife, then put the leaves in a bowl of hot water for about 5 minutes before dunking them in an ice water bath. After drying them off, they were ready for the wrap. Here’s the process:
I overlapped two large leaves:
Then came the quick cabbage “slaw” tossed with a bit of olive oil and red wine vinegar, topped with a mixture of Greek yogurt and Japanese mayo (btw, when I talk about mayo, I always mean Japanese Kewpie mayo- it’s the only acceptable kind!) and tomatoes:
Then on top of that, the discs of baked falafel:
After drizzling with some tahini sauce, it was time to wrap:
I brought the ends together, rolled, and look! A perfect green wrap:
I cut it half and took the first bite- there was absolutely no trace of bitterness from the collard greens- in fact, the flavor was so neutral, I barely noticed. Now, is it the same as having your falafel surrounded by warm, pillowy bread or a chewy flour tortilla? Of course not- if it was, Taco Bell would be serving up Volcano Collard Burritos and 7 Layer Collards, you know? I will say, however, that it was really good- like, really good. Add that to the fact that it is ridiculously good for you, and I’ve got enough reason to swap out the pita for these greens once in awhile.
Hope you’ll get a chance to try this- it’s really quite good.