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Cheesy Collard Green Wontons with Black Eyed Pea Relish


What can I say? I'm a sucker for traditions, especially when food is involved. Eating collard greens and black eye peas on New Year's Day is said to bring good luck and wealth.

This recipe is a fun twist on the traditional Southern dish. From the south or not, people usually turn their noses up at collard greens. Add some SarVecchio and mozzarella to the recipe and you will be welcomed at any party! Enjoy & cheers to a prosperous 2012!

Collard Green Wontons

1 head collard greens
3 strips peppered bacon
2 bay leafs
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1/3 cup half and half
4 oz SarVecchio Parmesan, finely grated (about 1 cup)
1 ball fresh mozzarella, diced to small cubes
3 dashes Cholula
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
1 package medium wonton wrappers

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add bacon and 2 tablespoons butter. Allow bacon to cook for 5 minutes or so. Meanwhile, wash collard greens thoroughly. Cut out the thick stem in the center of the leaves. Stack leaves, roll up and slice into 1 inch thick strips. Add greens to pot. Cook at medium heat, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove collard greens from broth and transfer to a strainer. Press juices out, set aside. Discard bacon and bay leaves. I know, throwing bacon away makes me sad too.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small sauce pan. Caramelize the sweet onion. Remove from heat, add milk and cheese to pan. Reserve some SarVecchio to top wontons. Combine this mixture with the collard greens in a mixing bowl. Add Cholula, salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a muffin tin with olive oil. Place wonton wrappers in muffin tin, forming bowls. Brown wonton wrappers only for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, scoop one heaping teaspoon of collard green mixture in wonton bowls. Top with SarVecchio and bake for 10 additional minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

* Yields 3 dozen wontons

Black Eye Pea Relish

1 16oz can black eyed peas
1/2 cup Cipollini onions in balsamic vinegar, diced (found in the olive bar)
1 yellow pepper, diced
Oregano, basil, parsley, salt and pepper to taste

Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a medium sauce pan. Add yellow pepper and spices. Cook just until tender, I like them more on the al dente side. Add onions and peas, cook until heated through. Serve with wontons.

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