One Ingredient, Three Ways: Kale Edition

Kale. One word that strikes fear and loathing in the hearts of the young and the old. The Practical Cook loves kale, and if you’re a hater, here’s hoping one of the three ways to serve it suggested below will change your mind. Kale, it’s what’s for dinner.

Simply Sauteed Kale
My most oft-used variety, because it’s just so fast. The secret here is high, fairly dry heat. A mere dash of olive oil and a solid medium-high heat on a skillet with a lid. Wash your kale, dry your kale, excise tough stems. When the oil is hot hot hot, toss in your kale, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, close the lid. Use tongs to stir and toss ever few minutes, cooking for 7 to 10, depending on the strain of kale you’re using. Lightweight varietals like Red Russian Kale (don’t fear the socialist veggie) cook fast.

Red Russian Kale

Red Russian Kale

Serve with anything. Seriously. I’ve served it with everything from pizza to pasta to pork chops to beans, and all the way back around. Did I mention that a) my family grows a lot of kale on the farm and b) my offspring REALLY like to pick kale? So don’t talk to me about how you got kale in your CSA box two weeks in a row. Buck up and try it!

Hidden Kale
Not into full-frontal kale? Then conceal it. Kale is great in Pork Noodle Soup, White Bean Soup (or just soupy white beans), Potato Soup, Rustic Tarts, even red pasta sauce or tomato-based stews. Cut it into strips, and it cooks fast in practically any dish. Balance the flavor with some sweet acid, like balsamic vinegar or tomatoes, or let it shine in something more bland like white beans or potatoes.

Pasta Tossed with Bacon, Butternut Squash, and Greens

Pasta Tossed with Bacon, Butternut Squash, and Greens

Krispy Kale Chips Recipe

Kale on a Baking Sheet

Kale on a Baking Sheet

Why are potatoes getting all the chip love? Kale chips are relatively easy, and were well received by everyone. Beware of how much salt you use. Generally speaking, I salt cihps after baking them, which I’ve found to be far tastier.

1 bunch of kale, washed, dried, and in small stemless pieces
1 tsp of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 315 degrees. Line one or two baking sheets (depending on the size of your kale bunch) with parchment paper. Toss kale with olive oil, place on sheets, bake 20-25 minutes until krispy (couldn’t help myself there), rotating pans as needed. Remove from oven and season lightly with salt.

Krispy Kale Chips

Krispy Kale Chips

Serve as you would a green veg, or a chip. Also good crumbled over white bean or potato soup.

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Filed under One Ingredient Three Ways, Recipes

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