Eat More Kale

So Christmas is over and I’m starting to think that maybe I shouldn’t be baking and eating cookies every single day. Of course, I’m softening some butter right now, so who do I think I’m kidding?

I did recently follow two delicious kale recipes from two cookbooks I own. The first, from the Joy of Cooking’s All About Breakfast & Brunch, is a recipe for kale with bacon. I’ll copy it exactly so you all can see the Joy of Cooking’s unique formatting and style.

Strip the leaves from the stems, discard the stems, wash well, and coarsely chop:

1 large bunch kale (about 1 pound)

Cook in a large skillet until crisp, then remove to paper towels to drain:

1 or 2 slices bacon, diced

Pour of all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings, then add to the skillet:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, choped

Cook over medium heat until the onions are golden brown, then add as much kale as will fit in the skillet and sprinkle with:

Salt

When the kale cooks down, add the rest. Cover and cook over medium heat until the kale is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with:

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Toss with the reserved bacon along with:

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

This kale was absolutely amazing. At Ben’s request I added four slices of bacon instead of two, but wouldn’t do so again. I also used balsamic vinegar instead of red wine, and that was delicious. This recipe actually turns kale into a comfort food. The cooking, vinegar, and bacon take away of a lot of the kale’s bitterness and chewiness and it was a pleasure to eat.

The second recipe, from the Moosewood cookbook, is very different. Gone is the bacon, gone is the salt, replaced by a sweet potato and black eyed peas.

You’ll need:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 2 cups cubed)
  • 1 large onion (1 1/2-2 cups chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 lb kale (4-5 cups)
  • 15 1/2 oz black eyed peas (1 can)
  • hot sauce

Heat the water to boil. While the water is heating, peel and chop the sweet potato into 1/2-inch cubes. Cook the sweet potato cubes for about 10 minutes, until barely tender. While the potato is cooking, chop the onion and garlic and saute in the oil. Drain the potatoes, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid, and set aside.

Wash the kale, shake dry, remove and discard the tough bottom parts of the stem. Coarsely chop. Add the kale to the onions and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes, until the leaves are bright green but reduced. Add the reserved potato water to the kale to steam. Drain and rinse the black eyed peas and add to the skillet along with the sweet potatoes. Add pepper to taste.

Serve immediately with a generous amount of hot sauce over the top. Delicious. Though this recipe didn’t have the salt and melt-in-your-mouth kale like the last, it is still healthy, hearty, and satisfying. The kale, sweet potato, and black eyed peas work very well together and the hot sauce adds an amazing pop. Neither of these kale dishes lasted very long in my house. Try one (or both) yourself and see what you think!

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About Emily Suggests

Pineapple rock, lemon platt, butter scotch. A sugarsticky girl shovelling scoopfuls of creams for a christian brother.

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