Wait! Come back! I know you’re about to click away. You saw the word “collard,” and it scared you. Maybe it brought back childhood memories of bitter, boiled leaves heaped in a sickening, faded green, shoved to the edge of your plate. Or maybe, like me, that’s what came to your mind, despite having never actually tasted that dreaded southern excuse for a vegetable.
Let me assure you: your fear is unfounded. Collards are like kale or swiss chard or spinach – perfectly palatable and delicious if you cook them right. If you boil them, not so much.
I doubt I would’ve ever escaped my sad ignorance of the versatility of collards, had I not asked Dad to pick up some swiss chard for me at the store. Ever absent-minded shopper that he is, he triumphantly presented me with a giant bundle of collards. So, I used them instead of swiss chard in the tart I was making. And you know what? They tasted just fine. No bitterness. No stringiness. Nothing. Deeeelicous! In fact, I’d say they were better than spinach, which tends to be mushy, and superior to kale, which can be a bit tough.
Indeed, I started eating sautéed collards as part my Whole30 breakfasts. Then I expanded to mustard greens and turnip greens. I’ve been having my own little renaissance of greens in the past several weeks.
Naturally, quiche was the next step. As usually happens with recipes, I’d had an idea for one component floating around in my mind for a while: grated sweet potato crust. Mom makes quiche with shredded white potato for a crust sometimes when she doesn’t feel like dealing with making or eating a proper pie crust. Since sweet potato is the most scrumptious, sweet, versatile of starches, it was clearly an even better choice for a crust. Duh.
So, armed with my brilliant orange, crisped-edged super-crust, I browned some sweet red onions and earthy cremini mushrooms, mixed them my newly befriended collards, and added some eggs for cohesion. And there it was: one vegetable-packed, Whole30 compliant, dense quiche – with just a hint of rosemary. As I’ve said previously, I never eat quiche for breakfast; it’s a supper food to me. But I gladly ate this for both.
Appropriately enough, this is day 30 of my Whole30. It’s been a ride, but mostly an easy one. I made it through the extraction of all of my wisdom teeth, the mild temptation of all the normal food my family ate, and the boredom of the last couple days. But I did it. And I’m happy. My last official meal has been eaten, so now there’s just to wait for…
I love you, granola!
You’re only a night awaaaaay!
Collard Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust
- 1 ten-ounce sweet potato
- 1 + 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large red onion
- 8 oz collards (~6 large leaves)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small package crimini mushrooms (also called “baby bella”)*
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a bit more here and there
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and some more here and there
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (nut milks would probably work, too)*
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Grease a 10-inch* pie pan with 1 tablespoon coconut oil.
Use a cheese grater’s medium-sized plane to shred the sweet potato. Don’t bother peeling it first; just wash it well. You should have about 3 cups of shredded sweet potato. Toss with the olive oil and a few dashes of salt. Press the sweet potato into the greased pie pan to form a crust. Bake for 20 minutes until the sweet potato is soft and slightly browned on the top edges.
While the crust cookies, dice the red onion into 1/4-inch half-moon pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a frying pan and sauté until browned and softened but not mushy.
As the onion browns, cut the tough ribs out of the center of the collard leaves. Slice into 1/2-inch-wide ribbons. Mince the garlic.
When the onions are finished, remove them from the pan and set aside. Add another tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan. Brown half of the minced garlic. Once the garlic is browned, add the collards and sauté until wilted and bright green, with a few dashes of salt. Set aside.
Slice the mushrooms into fourths or fifths. Add the final tablespoon of coconut oil and the rest of the garlic to the pan with the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are softened and browned.
Combine all the vegetables with the salt, pepper, and dried rosemary. Spread evenly in the crust. Whisk eggs and coconut milk together, and pour evenly on top of vegetables, being sure that the mixture gets distributed evenly. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until firm. Enjoy warm! Or cold – it’s marvelous leftover!
- You’ll have way too much filling and egg if you try to make this in a 8-inch pie pan. If you do, just leave out some of the filling and only beat 4 eggs or so. Eye it.
- You could probably leave the coconut milk out entirely if you wanted to, but I think it adds a nice sweetness and flavor.
- Substituting regular button mushrooms for the criminis would work just fine, I think.