Collard Greens and Rice Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette

Hoist the collard green sails, we’re setting our flavor course toward the Mediterranean horizon today! While this tree cabbage originated in the eastern Mediterranean and has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years, it was actually the first Africans that arrived in Virginia who first brought this dark, leafy veggie to America in the 1600s. Collard greens are members of the Brassica family, with notable siblings like cabbage, kale, and broccoli.

Dolmades, typically prepared using stuffed grape leaves, are inherently plant-based and delicious. In today’s dolmade derivation, we are assembling a salad instead of stuffing leaves. Julienned collard leaves replace the grape leaves, and is mixed with fresh herbs, rice and a bright lemon vinaigrette. These make for delicious light dinner on a hot summer evening that can be served with fragrant olives, lemon wedges, and a cool cucumber tomato salad. For a simple vegan meal idea, try pairing with warm pita and hummus.

Collard Greens and Rice Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette

Make the vinaigrette –  Add all the ingredients to a glass jar and whisk to combine.

Make the salad – Pour the lemon vinaigrette over the julienned collard greens in a large bowl and massage the greens for a minute. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. 

To serve – Divide the salad between four bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of sumac and chives.

serves 4


  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp agave
  • 1 tsp dijon
  • the zest from one lemon
  • ½ tsp pink sea salt
  • black pepper to taste


  • 1 bunch collard greens, washed, stemmed and julienned
  • 3 cups of cooked basmati rice, chilled
  • 1 small bulb of fennel, thinly sliced, about 1 cup
  • ½ cup chopped dill
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tsp pink sea salt
  • black pepper to taste


  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp chopped chives