Collard Green Salad w/Coconut Dressing


Calling All Collards

My memory of collard greens - a Sunday afternoon home from church as gospel music testified throughout the apartment. My mother would be in the kitchen dressed down in her Sunday muumuu while transferring huge leaves from one side of the sink to the other - singing or randomly shouting "say that", agreeing with Rev. James Cleveland that she too feel noways tired. I would stand on my tip toes (I was quite small as a child) and observe her hand movements as she pressed, lifted and swooshed the leaves around in the water. My only thought would be, "yuck, were having collard greens for dinner and she's going to put way too much on my plate".

After the greens were bathed and soaked in water, they would be drained, hand ripped and dumped into a big pot along with some type of salted meat which I also thought was unpalatable. The pot would take residence on the back burner of the gas stove and boil for about 100 Shirley Caesar songs or until they were "tender". 

As an adult, I learned that I like my vegetables lightly steamed, raw, sautéed or roasted. I've never attempted to try collard greens again because of the childhood trauma I endured on those sporadic Sundays. I still refuse to eat liver, lima beans, or black-eyed peas - the wound is still fresh.

Then I discovered this amazing recipe in Between Harlem to Heaven and my view of collards have made a complete 360°. This has been my quick dinner solution which has been a life saver during the current LA heatwave #noovens.

Of course, I made some adjustments and nixed the candied cashews. The coconut dressing has been giving me life and my chopping skills are on point - peep out the shred on those collards!


collard green salad w/coconut dressing

serves 4 to 6



  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

  • 2 shallots, chopped

  • 1/4 cup canned chipotles in adobo

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

  • 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar



  1. Put the cumin seeds in a small dry 8-inch sauté pan. Toast over medium heat until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.

  2. Combine the toasted cumin seeds with the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Store in a covered non-reactive container. Refrigerate for up to three weeks



  • 3 cups shredded collard greens

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 english cucumber, peel left on, sliced in half moons

  • 1/4 cup Coconut Dressing (recipe above)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup Adzuki Beans (I used red beans)

  • 1/4 cup candied cashews



  1. In a large bowl, toss the greens with the onion and cucumber with just enough dressing to coat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  2. Top the salad with the beans and candied cashews.

Nourish, FoodAngela Mayhoe