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Shredded Collard Greens and Baked Sweet Potato Salad


TODAY Hetty McKinnon of Arthur Street Kitchen shares with us one last dish from her new book, ‘Neighbourhood’.

Hetty’s tasty collard greens and baked sweet potato salad uses a few unashamedly ‘American’ ingredients (!) – but don’t fret, while collard greens are not widely available in Australia, savoy cabbage, kale and cavolo nero all make excellent substitutes!

Neighbourhood by Hetty McKinnon is now available from all good bookstores, and online here!


25th October, 2016
Hetty McKinnon
Tuesday 25th October 2016

This is one of those love at first sight stories. As soon as I laid eyes on its verdant leaves, elegant stalks and dramatic deep veins, my heart rate doubled and I knew I was a goner. The object of my affection is collard greens, a stunning leaf from the charming brassica family.

Collards earn their eminence from America’s deep south where they are often slow-cooked with copious amounts of pork. While most leafy greens would not stand for such long cooking times, collards are resilient and brilliantly retain their flavour and structure. In lieu of swine, I love to stew collards with heady Caribbean spices and coconut milk – the results are simply melt-in-your-mouth.

On the opposite end of the cooking spectrum, collards are also incredibly delicious raw. In this salad, I’m rejoicing in its southern roots by serving them with roasted sweet potato, pinto beans and a rather smashing paprika-spiked buttermilk dressing. And don’t fret, while collard greens are not widely available in Australia, savoy cabbage, kale and cavolo nero all make formidable and excellent substitutes. Similarly, if you can’t find pinto beans in your neck of the woods, simply use borlotti, red kidney or black beans.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

For the salad

  • 3 sweet potatoes (about 700 g), unpeeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 3–4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch of collard greens (about 400 g), washed and stems removed
  • 500 g cooked pinto beans (about 2 cans), drained
  • 1⁄3 cup coriander leaves
  • 1⁄2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • sea salt and black pepper

For the Paprika–Buttermilk dressing

  • 185 ml (3⁄4 cup) buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • juice of 1⁄2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper


  • collard greens: cavolo nero, kale
  • pinto beans: red kidney beans, borlotti beans


Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place the sweet potato pieces on a large baking tray, toss them in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20–25 minutes until tender.

Slice the collard green leaves very finely using a sharp knife and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle over 1–2 tablespoons of olive oil, add a pinch of salt and massage the oil into the leaves for about a minute (this will start to soften the leaves).

To make the buttermilk dressing, mix together the buttermilk and sour cream in a bowl and stir in the chopped garlic, paprika, lime juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine the massaged leaves with the sweet potato, beans, coriander and sunflower seeds. Season again with salt and pepper, spoon over the buttermilk dressing and serve with the lime wedges on the side.

This recipe is from Hetty’s new book ‘Neighbourhood’ (RRP $39.99) published by Plum and available now from good bookstores and online here.  

Photo – Luisa Brimble.

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