Collard Greens with Tahini

by Valerie on November 7, 2011 · 7 comments

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While this dish may not scream Thanksgiving, it has the richness of creamed spinach, with a sweet-savory-tangy flavor profile that gives the dish a nice complexity and is perfect for a festive meal.  I made the dish with tofu, as the recipe that inspired me used it, but I could see this working equally well with cannellini beans.

Speaking of my inspiration, the recipe is Hearty Greens and Tofu in Tahini Sauce from Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook: A Seasonal, Vegetarian Cookbook – a truly fantastic cookbook (the use of eggs and dairy is minimal and most vegetarian recipes can be easily veganized). This recipe had caught my eye a while ago, but it contains ume plum vinegar (aka umeboshi vinegar) which, while delicious, is also one of the saltiest ingredients ever.  So I tweaked and adjusted and changed the flavor profile and added more tahini it became a whole new dish.  One that would fit right in at Thanksgiving too.

Collard Greens with Tahini (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-Free Option) – Makes 6 hearty servings

If you use a dense tofu (such as Twin Oaks) you can skip the tofu pressing.  If using canned beans instead of tofu, be sure to rinse thoroughly.  Coconut nectar is a liquid sweetener with pepper and caramel undertones.  You can substitute any other liquid sweetener, but may need to add a bit of pepper.

  • 1 15oz or 16oz block tofu (try to use tofu made with organic/non-GMO soybeans) or 1 3/4 to 2 cups cooked cannellini beans or other small white beans (1 15oz can, drained)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion chopped, about 11/2 cups
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped jalapeño (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon ume plum vinegar
  • 1 large bunch collards, stemmed and deribbed, chopped into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 /2 cup tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut nectar or other liquid sweetener
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened freeze dried cranberries or sweetened cranberries (for garnish)

Press tofu (either using a tofu press or two flat surfaces, paper towels and a heavy object) for at least an hour, though overnight is fine.  Cut into bite-size cubes. Set aside. 

Heat olive oil in large cast-iron pan or large skillet.  Add the onions, garlic, jalapeño (if using) and vinegar and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, until onions are starting to caramelize.  Add the collards and water, stir, and partially cover.  Cook collards for about 3 minutes.  Push collards to one side of the pan.  Add the tahini and coconut nectar and mix into the liquid in the pan until you get a rich sauce.  Gently stir the collards into the sauce.  Add the tofu or white beans and combine gently.  Cook for another 3-5 minutes, until tofu or beans are heated through.  Stir in lemon juice and turn of the heat. Taste for seasoning; you may want to add some additional sweetener or vinegar or lemon or, potentially salt. Garnish with cranberries and serve.

I am submitting this dish to two Thanksgiving events;


I am loving the second annual series sponsored by Amy of Simply Sugar- and Gluten-Free entitled A Gluten-Free Holiday.  This upcoming week the challenge is Thanksgiving Favorites at Cook It Allergy Free (updated: here is the link to the actual link-up party over at Cook it Allergy Free)


The theme for this month’s Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten-Free,an event created by Naomi of  Straight To Bed, Cakefree and Dried,  and hosted by Brittany of Real Sustenance has a Thanksgiving theme. 


I am also submitting this dish to the following weekly events:


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