Recently in kale Category

kale_slaw_with_peanut_dressing.jpgKale is one of my new favorite vegetables, thanks in no small part to more frequent visits to farmer's markets and recipes like this pasta. This recipe is a lighter, salad-like approach where the greens are just wilted, then tossed with red bell pepper and carrots in a slightly sweet peanut dressing. Excellent when served with grilled meat.

1 large bunches curly or lacinato kale, about 2 pounds
1 red bell peppers, cleaned and cut into fine strips
1 large carrot, peeled
1/4 + 2 tbs cup roasted, salted peanuts, divided
2 tbs vegetable oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

Fold each leaf of kale in half lengthwise and slice out the center rib. Discard ribs. Roll a stack of the leaves up and slice in half lengthwise, then crosswise into very fine ribbons. Wash and rinse thoroughly in a salad spinner.Heat a little oil in a pan, and add the kale. Cook, stirring frequently, until kale is wilted but still not soft.

Toss the kale with the sliced bell peppers. Slice the carrot very thin. Toss with the kale, red pepper, and 2 tbs of the peanuts.

In a chopper or small food processor, briefly puree the remaining 1/4 cup peanuts, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper flakes. Pulse it just a few times; the peanuts should be partially pureed, but with some nibs and nubs still left in the dressing. (The texture difference between the whole peanuts, ground peanuts, and pureed peanuts in the sauce is one of the things that makes this slaw so wonderful.)

Toss the dressing with the slaw and let it sit for at least a few minutes before serving.

Original recipe


kale_brown_rice_gratin.jpgI upped the greens and added chicken to this warming casserole to make it a one-dish meal, but you can of course omit the chicken and use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian. The flavors are simple but delicious - a little dijon and hint of nutmeg add interest, but the main focus is the creamy texture of the rice and greens.

1 large shallot, minced
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups short grain brown rice
3 cups milk
3 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth if vegetarian)
1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast (optional)
2 large bunches kale
1/4-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
6-8 ounces of extremely sharp cheddar-style cheese
1/2 cup of bread crumbs

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed 3.5 - 6 quart pan. Add shallot and saute until brown.

Add brown rice and saute with shallot for about 5 minutes, until it starts to get a little toasted.

Add milk, stock concentrate, spices and dijon. Bring to a boil. Once at a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cover for 45 minutes - 1 hour. You can peek and stir occasionally without problem. Note: the milk will curdle here if you boil it very long, but this doesn't really affect the final product.

Preheat your oven to 350º.

At the end of the rice's cooking time, add in the finely chopped kale. Cook an additional 5 minutes of so to help soften the kale.

At this point it should be rather thick. If it is not, put two tablespoons flour in a small bowl and add some of the remaining liquid from the rice mix. Stir to make a roux and add back to pan to thicken. Once thick enough to be like a wet paste, spoon into 9×13 casserole dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs (cheese first!) and put into preheated oven for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown and bubbly.

Original recipe



Carmelized onion, sliced garlic, and soft and tender kale make a wonderful light and flavorful pasta topping, perfect for a fancy side dish with a formal meal or by itself for a light dinner. My hands-down favorite use for fresh kale.

1 pound lacinato kale (about 2 bunches), large center ribs and stems removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 pound spaghetti or linguine
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Finely grated Parmesan cheese

Rinse kale. Drain; transfer to bowl with some water still clinging.

Heat 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add sliced garlic and sprinkle with salt; cook until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add kale and remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and toss until wilted, about 3 minutes. Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking until kale is very tender, stirring occasionally and adding water by teaspoonfuls if dry, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in medium pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add cooked spaghetti to kale mixture in pot. Add lemon juice and 2 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid; toss to combine, adding more liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry. Sprinkle spaghetti with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

Original recipe

turkey_kale_soup_sm.jpgThis soup was ad-libbed into existence through so many substitutions and tweaks to a recipe that it was completely different at the end. But the final result, I think, is better than the original.  The slightly bitter kale is nicely balanced by the sweet potatoes and red pepper, and the ground turkey pushes it over into the category of comfort food. Ingredient amounts and cooking times are approximate.

1 lb. ground turkey
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 bunch (or more) kale (or other leafy green such as chard), stems and large veins discarded, leaves chopped into bite size pieces
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
4 c. chicken broth (low sodium)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, and chopped into bite-size cubes
salt, pepper
herbs (suggestions: oregano, basil, sage, rosemary)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes in olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 20-30 minutes until tender but not mushy.

Saute ground turkey in large soup pot until cooked through. Remove, drain. Heat a little olive oil in the same pot over medium heat, add onion, saute until soft and transparent. Add red pepper and kale, cook until kale is well wilted and pepper is tender. Add turkey, tomatoes, broth, and herbs. Simmer 10 minutes or so to allow flavors to meld. Add sweet potatoes, cook a couple minutes until heated through.