Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kale, a love affair.

For my very first:
Allow me tell you about one of my very favorite things: Kale.

I like it. A lot.

If I had to choose only one vegetable- I'd be very sad, and then I'd pick kale. Man, but Brussels sprouts would be a close second. Oh! and butternut squash... Flippancy aside, kale is where it's at. Chock full of iron and vitamins, and what I'm after, deliciousness.
My favorite bits are the super young stems.

They are tender as all get out.

This is a mega simple standby regardless of the time of the year- Although, kale is a winter vegetable, so it's only gonna get better from here on out
More often than not, you see it as a garnish, or hear people say: What the hell am I supposed to do with this?
This. This is what you're supposed to do with it.

Kale is the Best

1 Bunch o' Kale
flat - Lacinato- kale, but curly kale as pictured above)
1-2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
Olive Oil for
Salt to taste
Toasted sesame seeds

Washing the kale is critical. Those oh-so-fun curly leaves hide hordes of the unknown. I've found: lady bugs, caterpillars, cocoons, much dirt, and other fun stuff that you should just go put back outside.
Separate the leaf from the stems. Unless they are very tiny leaves, the stems are too woody for this quick cooking application. I tear them away in bigger chunks.
Let them drain on a tea towel, and slice your garlic.
In a large saucier (you want high sides for this), start the garlic in the oil on medium heat.
The heat for this recipe is going to stay towards the higher end. We want to do this quickly, so that the greens stay vibrant. Keep things moving around with your wooden spoon.
Once the garlic starts to sizzle, add your kale in batches.
Basically, it goes like this:
Fill up the pan with kale.
Toss the kale about until it wilts.
Add more oil if your kale seems dry.
Add more kale and toss about.
Repeat until there's no more kale.
It will sizzle and pop, because water hides really well on the leaves, but the more kale you add, the less space it has to pop.
Once you've got all the kale in the pan and it's wilted down, add salt to taste.
Turn off the heat, and add sesame seeds (a Tablespoon or two)

I get mine at the Asian market because it is a crazy good deal, and I go through these like nobody's business.
I like slightly crispy bits to my kale, so sometimes I let the kale batches brown the slightest bit before I add more.

There have been summers where I've survived solely on this stuff. While that's not exactly the best idea, it is still quite delicious- and if you're hesitant to try this mysterious green, this is a great, simple introduction to it.


Mihl said...

The fact that kale is a winter vegetable makes it very hard to get here in Germany during summer, spring, and autumn. (It is available frozen and minced) That is so sad because I agree with you. It is a wonderful vegetable.

Susan said...

I've only had kale once. It is something that isn't readily available in the supermarket, and only a few farmers market stalls sometimes I have it. I really liked it when I tried it and would love to find some more!

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Ha ha! I love that first picture!