Fierce Foodie: Kale!
In the winter, salads are completely off my radar, and yet I yearn for something to counterbalance my mainly meat and potatoes and rice pudding diet. Wintery greens fit the bill perfectly. And thanks to the availability of precut and prewashed produce, the annoying prep time for stew-friendly greens like Swiss chard, collard greens and kale has been eliminated.
My favorite nutritious leafy green is kale, which has been eaten since Greek and Roman times and has been popular throughout Europe for hundreds of years. While boiling significantly reduces its nutritional value, sautéing, steaming, and stir frying do not. The simplest and most delicious way I eat it is steamed in the microwave, seasoned with salt and pepper, and dressed with a little olive oil and fresh lemon juice. It can also be added to soups and stews, steamed, or stir fried with great results.
On top of all that, kale freezes well. Sautée chopped kale with a little oil, let it cool in the pan, and then transfer it to a freezer bag. Flatten it out in the freezer so you can break off what you need whenever you are in a rush. This is particularly good for people cooking for one or two and those who don’t enjoy eating the same thing every day of the week. Even if it is delicious kale.
This recipe for sautéed kale makes a great side for meat or sausage, or you can throw in some cannellini beans to make a mouth watering and simple vegetarian dish.
Sautéed Kale (serves 4)
Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay and the Food Network
1 ½ pounds young kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
½ cup vegetable stock or water
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar.
featured image credit: limonada