Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Kale Sauteed in Olive Oil with Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes & Red Wine Vinegar

A couple weeks ago, I had a small crop of Lacinato (aka "Tuscan") Kale growing in my veggie garden that was ready to harvest but I was conflicted on how to prep them in the kitchen. Salad, sautéed, or made into Kale chips? Hmmm...I asked Gil for his opinion but he was no help whatsoever because he declared that he, frankly and intransigently, HATED to eat kale (even though he's only probably tried it once in his lifetime). Thanks a lot, dude. Fortunately, my dilemma was solved when I happened upon a recipe in the New York Times for sautéed kale that seemed to fit the bill. The key is really to strip the leafy green part from the tough central stem of each leaf so that the cooked greens come out nice and tender. So, here's my adaptation of that recipe which Gil grudgingly tasted and admitted was "pretty more than ok."

1 large bunch kale, rinsed, stemmed and coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 to 1 cup water
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1. Heat 3-4 tbsp. of olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet or saute pan. Add the minced garlic and toss briefly until just softened (do not brown). 

2. Add the chopped kale to the pan. Toss to coat the leaves with the olive oil. Add the water (1/2 cup at first, then more if the water evaporates too quickly). Stir, then cover the pan and let the kale cook for 7-10 minutes until wilted but still green. 

3. Remove cover and season the kale with salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and the red wine vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

4. Remove from heat and serve as is or as a side dish to a meat or fish entree. 

 Lacinato/Tuscan Kale growing in one of our raised beds.

 Leaves are rinsed and ready to be stemmed.

 Coarsely chopped kale leaves and minced garlic.

 Minced garlic is sautéed in the olive oil over medium high heat until just soft.

 Add the kale, toss well, and then add the water (1/2 to 1 cup, as needed).

 Cover and cook 7-10 minutes or until the kale is wilted but still bright green.

 Remove cover and season with salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and red wine vinegar.

 Serve as is or...

as a side (in this case, with pan-fried blackened salmon filets).

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