I like Kale–it’s inexpensive, easy-to-prepare, crunchy-chewy and flavorful.
If you’ve hated Kale, perhaps you’ve swallowed it as super-food medicine–dried into a revolting substitute for potato chips, or blended into a gagging substitute for a refreshing drink.
Here’s the truth about Kale–
it’s got a bitter bite to it. I happen to like bitter — Brussel sprouts, grapefruit, Campari, broccoli rabe, black coffee. I enjoy enlivening my tastebuds by mixing up sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami, hot.
If you don’t relish a powerfully bitter sensation on your tongue, add some honey to this recipe and give Kale a chance. The dish is so pretty–it’s worth making it just to see it on your plate. And it tastes yummy.
Sautéed Kale with Red Pepper, Onion, Black Olive and Pine Nuts
(This recipe can be doubled to infinity and beyond–if you’ve got a truckload of Kale and an army to feed.)
- scant tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 cups Kale, torn or cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper
- 1/3 cup sliced sweet red onion
- 3-4 black olives, sliced
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- a wedge of lemon (grate a bit of the zest from it)
- some slices of garlic clove (as much or little as you like)
- 1-2 teaspoons of honey (optional)
- your favorite hot sauce or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional–I like Frank’s RedHot for this dish)
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until you can feel the heat rising from it when you hold your palm 3-4 inches above the surface. Add the olive oil and swirl it around. It should shimmer.
- Sprinkle in the pine nuts, red pepper and onion and stir fry for 1-2 minute until the nuts start to brown and the onion begins to turn golden.
- Stir in the garlic.
- Give the kale a quick rinse and add it to the pan with a bit of water clinging to its leaves. Stir. Add the lemon zest, olives, and squeeze the juice from the lemon wedge over. Add the honey if you don’t love a bitter zing. Stir. Zip it up with heat, if you’re a chile-head.
- Stir until just wilted. Serve (goes smashingly on a plate with corn pudding and delicious Italian-style white beans).
Be aware of another Kale truth: eating too much Kale will make you embarrassingly gassy. This is nature’s revenge against people who consume huge quantities of a supposed miracle food on the naive assumption that they can make themselves live forever-young. Nature abhors a common-sense-vacuum.
All things in moderation!
What’s your opinion of Kale?