Southern Roll-ups

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I based this recipe on something I read in a vegetarian cookbook. It sounded good, but I thought it might be even better with the addition of some country ham, but you can certainly omit it. I made the mistake, though, of using a bottled bbq sauce I’d never tried before, nor even sampled. Red pepper was the fourth item on the ingredient list. It ended up being very nearly inedible because of it. So choose the sauce you start with wisely. Better yet, make your own.

1 bunch of collard greens
½ cup onion, diced
¼ cup bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 oz. country ham, diced
1 can black eyed peas, drained
½ cup bbq sauce

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Pick out 6 or 8 of the biggest, best leaves of the collard greens, and boil for 6 minutes, then remove them to a cold water bath. Heat the oil in a saucepan, and cook the onions and peppers until soft. Add the ham, and cook for a few minutes, then add the peas and the bbq sauce. Take some of the uncooked greens and roll them up like a cigar, and slice them and add them to the pot. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the sauce is reduced, stirring frequently.

Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the thick stem vein off the front and back of the boiled greens, to facilitate rolling. Once the beans and sauce are reduced, remove from the heat and allow it to cool a little, then put 2 or 3 tablespoons into the middle of each of the boiled leaves, and roll them up like a burrito. Serve hot.