We recently reviewed Vegan Soul Kitchen, and after trying many of the recipes, we’ve decided that it gets better by the day. Bryant Terry, a self-proclaimed eco-chef, combines flavour and fusion; and we keep going back for more.
Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy and Creative African-American Cuisine is a melting pot of old favourites stemming from his African-American roots and Southern cuisine – without any animal ingredients to be seen. Each recipe features a soundtrack, some background information, and, well, a delicious result.
We mentioned in our review that the book starts with his top six recipes, and we’ve received permission to bring you our favourite.
Citus Collards with Raisins Redux
from Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy and Creative African-American Cuisine by Bryant Terry
Yield: 4 servings
This recipe was the seed of Vegan Soul Kitchen… a brand new classic, if you will, dedicated to my home city in the mid-South – Memphis, Tennessee. (ecoki note: We agree, definitely a classic that will re-enter our weekly recipes)
Coarse sea salt
2 large bunches collard greens, ribs removed, cut into a chiffonade, rinsed and drained* (he explains it in his book (below), but click here if need a visual)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (ecoki note: we used one medium navel orange)
In a large pot over high heat, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the collards and cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, until softened. Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water to cool the collards.
Remove the collards from the heat, drain, and plunge them into the bowl of cold water to stop cooking and set the colour of the greens. Drain by gently pressing the greens against a colander.
In a medium-sized saute pan, combine the olive oil and the garlic and raise the heat to medium. Saute for 1 minute. Add the collards, raisins, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the orange juice and cook for an additional 15 seconds. Do not overcook (collards should be bright green). Season with additional salt to taste if needed and serve immediately. This also makes a tasty filling for quesadillas.
The chiffonade cut is used to produce very fine threads of leafy fresh herbs as well as greens and other leafy vegetables. First, remove any tough stems that would prevent the leaf from being rolled tightly (reserve them for stocks or salads). Next, stack several leaves, roll them widthwise into a tight cylinder, and slice crosswise with a sharp knife, cutting the leaves into thin strips.