We adapted this recipe from a forthcoming book on vegetables (Artisan, 2017) by Joshua McFadden, chef and vegetable whisperer at Ava Gene's in Portland. Creating fluffy ribbons of collard greens is easy when you roll the leaves and slice them crosswise.
Wine Pairing: A bubbly, briny Chardonnay-only sparkler like Iron Horse 2010 "Ocean Reserve" Blanc de Blancs (Green Valley of Russian River Valley; $50). The yeastiness in the wine picks up on the toasted nuts; the bubbles love the texture of the grain; and the savoriness suits the green onions. --Sara Schneider
1/2 cup sliced almonds
About 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 cup cracked freekeh* or medium bulgur wheat
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
3/4 pound collard greens (1 or 2 bunches)
2 to 3 tbsp. sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 large firm-ripe Bosc pear, very thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Roast almonds in a shallow pan until golden, stirring once, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring 2 1/2 cups water and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the freekeh, garlic, and chile flakes. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until freekeh is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Strain freekeh, then spread on a rimmed baking sheet to cool (put it in the fridge if you're in a hurry). Discard large pieces of garlic.
While freekeh cooks, cut ribs and stems from collards; save them for another use. Rinse leaves and spin dry. Stack a few at a time, roll lengthwise into a long cigar, and very thinly slice crosswise. In a large bowl, toss collards well with 3/4 tsp. salt.
Add 2 tbsp. vinegar, the oil, and pepper to collards and toss to blend. Add cooled freekeh and toss to combine; then add almonds, pear, and green onions and toss gently. Season to taste with more vinegar and salt if you like.
*Find cracked freekeh at well-stocked grocery stores and natural-foods stores, and at bobsredmill.com.
Recipe adapted from Joshua McFadden's forthcoming book on vegetables (Artisan, 2017). Ava Gene's, Portland, Oregon