Learn how to prepare a flavorful collard greens salad with this easy vegetarian recipe. Shredded raw greens are paired with black-eyed peas, carrots, and a creamy peanut butter dressing, spiked with fresh ginger and garlic, in this Southern-inspired dish.
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Hearty greens thrive in cooler weather, so I like to devote some posts to collard greens and their peers during the winter. But that can get a little tricky. Salads are a lot less appetizing than soups and other warm dishes when the temperatures drop.
As I power through my fifth Minnesota winter, I feel like I’m allowed to make sweeping claims like that, right? AND, at the same time, I think living here validates my opinion that this collard greens salad recipe is actually a dish that’s enjoyable during the winter.
The ingredients I chose for this recipe were partially inspired by a recent black-eyed pea salad from Martha Stewart Living magazine that I made when my in-laws visited us for New Year’s weekend. That dish helped me rediscover black-eyed peas, and I set out to make a winter vegetable recipe that included them.
(Eating black-eyed peas at the start of a new year is apparently good luck, and I figured we could all use some luck in 2021! PS – check out my Chili Roasted Black Eyed Peas for another recipe that uses them.)
Since collard greens and black-eyed peas are both common in Southern cooking, I decided to fully lean into Southern flavors and use a peanut dressing for the salad. In the end, I love this simple but flavorful, totally-acceptable-to-eat-in-the-cold collard greens salad. And by the way, it would be a good recipe for warm weather months, too.
Before we get to the recipe, I’m covering some FAQ about collard greens and tips for preparing raw collards.
Can you eat raw collard greens?
Raw collard greens are perfectly safe to eat, but keep in mind that they are tougher than cooked greens. It’s best to add a flavorful dressing to a raw collard greens salad, since they can be bitter on their own.
Are raw collard greens good for you?
Collard greens are highly nutritious, and eating them raw can help preserve some of the heat-sensitive nutrients they contain. For example, raw collards contain vitamin C and folate, both of which can be degraded by heat. They’re also a source of dietary fiber, calcium, and potassium!
How to Prepare Fresh Collard Greens
When using collards in raw preparations, I like to slice them into thin ribbons. This makes them more manageable to eat, and it looks pretty!
To do this, you can cut them in a chiffonade, similar to how you might cut basil. Remove the stems from the collard greens, roll up the leaves, and make thin slices. For more information, check out my tutorial on How to Cut Collard Greens.
If you want your collard greens to be a little less tough for a salad, you can massage them (just like you would massage kale) before preparing the recipe. Place the shredded collards in a mixing bowl, drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, add some salt, and massage for a few minutes until they become your desired texture.
Expert Tips for Collard Greens Salad
- To prep this dish in advance, combine the greens, black-eyed peas (drained and rinsed), shredded carrots, and peanuts in a bowl. Cover the bowl and keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Add the dressing before serving. The peanut dressing can be made several days ahead of time and stored in a separate container.
- To shop my knife and cutting board pictured here, click here for the knife and here for the cutting boards.
- If you want this recipe to be strictly vegan, sub maple syrup for the honey.
- Black-eyed peas are a good source of plant protein, so you can serve this salad as a main or side dish. It would go well with other Southern foods, such as barbecue, cornbread, or grits.
More Healthy Salads
Love this recipe? Check out the Chopped Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing, Maple Swiss Chard Salad with Turkey, and the Black Lentil Salad with Kale and Pomegranate. For other dishes using collard greens, see the Coconut Braised Vegan Collard Greens and Lentil Risotto with Collard Greens.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Shredded Collard Greens Salad with Peanut Dressing
For the salad:
- Prepare the collard greens by removing the stems and cutting the leaves into thin strips. An easy way to do this is to roll up the collard leaves then slice them in the same way you would chiffonade basil. If you would like to soften the collards before preparing the recipe, place the sliced collards in a large bowl. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt, and massage the greens with your hands for a few minutes until they reach your desired texture.
- Combine the greens with the black-eyed peas, carrots, and peanuts in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, cilantro, ginger, and garlic. Thin with water, one tablespoon at a time, as needed. Once the dressing is your desired consistency, pour it over the salad and toss until coated. Enjoy!
- If you prepare this salad in advance, store the salad ingredients and dressing in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Wait to add the dressing until serving.
Enjoy your winter greens! – Lizzie