When I was in college and living in NYC, I didn’t have a ton of money or particularly healthy eating habits. I frequently had banana and peanut butter for dinner. I had coffee for breakfast. I don’t even remember what I regularly ate for lunch. The only nights that I had a truly decadent dinner was when my auntie Milly would take me out to a fancy vegan restaurant once a month and when I make a meal of the free samples at Garden of Eden, a huge Italian/Natural Foods store near Union Square.
Garden of Eden always had crackers and cheese, unusual spreads and crusty breads, big, juicy grapes and other fresh fruits. And of course more varieties of olives than I even knew existed.
Olives have always felt like a luxury food to me. They’re salty, oily, full of good fat, and a little pricey. I was the girl at the party who filled up on olives and wine. And while I no longer graze the olive samples at grocery stores, I still think of them as a bit of a treat.
This recipe scratches my olive itch and the collards are a perfect compliment to the saltiness of the olives.
Slightly Salty Collards:
1 Tbs coconut oil
1/2 small red onion, sliced into thin half moons
15 olives, sliced into small circles
1 bunch of collards, heavy stem removed and leaves sliced into strips
2 Tbs shredded coconut
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
salt, pepper to taste
1/2 avocado, sliced (optional)
Heat coconut oil in wok or large pan. Add in the red onions and cook until they are soft and beginning to carmelize. Once they’re soft, add in the olives and pumpkin seeds. Stir well and saute for about 2 minutes. Then add in the collards, shredded coconut, and salt/pepper to taste.
Serve with quinoa (my favorite accompaniment to this dish) and top with avocados (because avocado is the perfect compliment to almost everything).