Side Dish #1: Flowering Kale

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I know that all the kale hype can be irritating.  What used to simply garnish your breakfast plate at Denny’s is now featured in nearly every cookbook or cooking magazine published since 2008.  “Put it in smoothies!”  “Saute and add to pasta dishes!” “Stir it into soups before serving!” (we actually do this a lot) “Puree and sneak it into your kid’s mac and cheese!”  “Rub it on your face!”  Well, maybe that last one hasn’t been truly vetted, but I would bet there is someone out there dying to tell us how beneficial it is.

So, in my attempt to get on board with kale, and to bring along my family, I have been trying out a few recipes that make kale the centerpiece rather than an addition to something else we already eat.  The one I share today is really delicious and uses flowering kale, a variety with an easy and highly palatable texture.  Ella’s mom gave it to me after she stumbled upon it shopping at our local grocery store.  I don’t always add the tomatoes unless I think I will have enough left over to have for lunch the next day.  When I do add them, I do it at the very end in order to retain the tomato skin integrity-I prefer the skin to stay intact and attached to the fruit.  I also think it would be delicious to add a handful of toasted pine nuts to give it a little crunch.  Our whole family enjoys it, I hope you do too.

Flowering Kale

2 cloves crushed garlic

3 tblsp olive oil

2-3 heads flowering kale (about 6-8 cups uncooked)

1 tsp salt

fresh cracked pepper

3 tblsp balsamic vinegar

2 tblsp grated romano or parmesan cheese

*Optional: 1 cup sliced cherry or grape tomatoes and/or 2 tblsp toasted pine nuts

Heat the oil and garlic on medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed pot until the garlic is soft, but not brown.  Add the kale and stir until it is coated with the oil and garlic.  Reduce the heat to medium low and cover with a lid, stirring occasionally -this allows the kale to steam and soften.  Once the kale is reduced by half in the pot, add the salt, pepper, balsamic and grated cheese.  Stir and remove from heat.  *Now is the time to toss in the tomatoes or pine nuts if you wish. 

We serve this with a nice piece of roasted salmon, or alongside a grilled piece of meat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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