OK, so I’m stretching it a little bit with the puns today. Whatever.
BBQ Pulled Sweet Potato Sandwiches With Collard Green Coleslaw
Coleslaw (Make this first)
- 3-4 cups collard greens [Kirby Farms, Mechanicsville, VA]
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 medium Pink Lady apple [Crown Orchard, Batesville, VA]
- 1 medium carrot [Van Dessel Farms, Accomack, VA]
- ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger [Indian Valley Farms, Floyd, VA]
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
BBQ Pulled Sweet Potatoes
- 1 medium sweet potato (enough to make about 2-2 ½ cups shredded) [The Farm at Sunnyside, Washington, VA]
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- ½ cup BBQ sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle BBQ sauce, but I hope eventually to make my own)
- Toasted hamburger buns or other bread (or even try quinoa for a smoky BBQ quinoa bowl!)
The most work you’re going to have to do for this recipe is the prep time. Start by shredding your collard greens (just cutting them into thin coleslaw-length strips). Once shredded, place the greens in a large bowl and add your salt. Using your hands, “massage” the greens for a minute or two. This helps to soften them and help them taste sweeter, while the salt draws out some of the moisture. If there’s a lot of liquid in the bottom of the bowl you should drain it, but I only had a bit so I left it for the slaw. Once your greens are relaxed from that massage, shred your carrot and apple. For this I just used a regular grater, since it was reasonably quick and would also get some of the juices flowing. I put the shredded apple and carrot in a separate bowl with the ginger and lemon juice. Add the vinegar and mayonnaise to the greens, mix well, and then add the apple and carrot. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Break that grater back out, because you’re going to need it for the potato. If you end up with a little more or less than 2 or 2 ½ cups, just adjust the BBQ sauce a little (feel free also to adjust it if you like extra BBQ flavor or more prominent sweet potato flavor). Heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the sweet potato. Stir to distribute the oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the sweet potato has started to brown, add the BBQ sauce and stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (I cook mine to the 10 minutes or less end of that, since I like my potatoes a little al dente and I get too excited to wait anymore.)
While the potatoes are cooking, toast your buns. Serve with coleslaw and enjoy!
NOTE: I find that, while delicious, this dish isn’t particularly filling. So my suggestion is to load up your sandwich with lots of potatoes, or plan on eating two. I actually experimented a little this time and made one (small) sandwich and one (smaller) quinoa bowl, which filled me up nicely (and left ¾ of a portion for lunch). If you’re making this for more than two people, I would suggest using lots more potatoes.
These sweet potatoes, from Yup, It’s Vegan are probably one of my favorite things to make. In fact, as soon as I saw that I was getting sweet potatoes in my bag, I started planning to make it. These certified organic potatoes from [the Farm at Sunnyside] perfectly satisfied my craving. They were probably some of the best-looking potatoes I’ve seen (I only used half of a large potato for this recipe, since I’m saving the other potato-and-a-half for something special) and they made an excellent sandwich.
I also got an awesome chance to use a ton of 4P ingredients for the coleslaw! I’ve been working on my traditional coleslaw recipe for a while, but this collard green version proves that traditional coleslaw is overrated. Not only was this combination remarkably attractive, it worked well as a whole. Never having tried collard greens before, I was a little nervous, but I can say with confidence that they work really well! Juicier than a similar dark green like kale would be, but more flavorful (and better for you) than just cabbage. I added the fresh ginger on a little bit of a whim, since it’s hard for me to think of something that wouldn’t go very well with ginger. It worked well, and was just the right amount. It came through in the slaw without making the whole thing taste overwhelmingly of ginger. Part of that strength of flavor could be a result of the quality and freshness, since even just after grating it my whole kitchen smelled like fresh ginger.
Not only is this healthy and delicious recipe vegetarian (one easily made totally vegan), if you switch out the bread for quinoa it’s also gluten-free! This has quickly become one of my favorite quick dinners and hopefully it’ll become the same for you!