Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Garlicy Kale

I love all kinds of greens, but kale just might be my favorite. It is surely my favorite to cook. The nice thing about kale (as opposed to collards, for example) is that kale can cook up quickly at a high heat. Kale has less water content so it is hearty enough to take the heat. The curly ends get crispy and amazing and the rest is tender and full of whatever flavors you've added. It is also a surprisingly forgiving vegetable in that you can cook it and leave it sitting in the pan while you get on with the rest of dinner and it will be just as tasty later. I'm not the best at timing things so that all of my food is ready at the same time, so this is especially nice for me. You can cook it low and slow too, but he high-heat method comes together as a delicious and sneakily healthy side dish in minutes. I quick cook it with garlic and red pepper flakes and serve it with almost anything I'm eating.
Garlicky Kale
Kale (12 leaves or so makes a nice side dish for 2 people)
3 cloves of garlic
red pepper flakes (to taste)
olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Wash the kale thoroughly under cold water.
2. Remove the stems because they are pretty bitter. I saw Paula Dean remove the stems from collards by holding the whole leaf in her hand and folding in half so that the stem is the seam. Then she just ripped it off very simply. This is my method of choice. While I'm doing this, I just rip the kale into large-ish bite sized pieces. Uniformity is discouraged.
3. Roughly chop the garlic and add to a skillet with about 1-2 Tablespoons of oil on medium-high heat. You want to bring out the garlic flavor, but since it is high heat, you only need to cook them for 30 seconds or so. You don't want to burn the garlic.
4. Toss in a pinch of red pepper flakes and then add your kale to the skillet. You will be shocked by how much it is going to cook down.
5. Toss the kale around so that the garlic and oil are distributed throughout the leaves and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes until the kale is tender and gets a little crispy around the edges.
5. Serve up with your favorite main course.

1 comment:

  1. Kale rocks as a side dish to black beans and rice.