More Kale! Duh-Lightful!

by Michael on January 25, 2012 · 1 comment

in Recipes,Side Dishes,Vegetarian

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I was going to write about meat tonight. Meat! Instead I write about kale.

Kale was so last night. But then there were leftovers. I nuked them up and gave the kids the choice of veg for dinner. Homemade cilantro slaw or leftover kale. Kale wins. “More kale!” “It’s Duh-lightful!” is the word from my little girl.

Most everyone has had kale. Boiled to death for reasons unknown. What did this little green leaf ever do to anyone? Collards get more respect! Spinach. Spinach! Ok, I love spinach but still. We can do better for misunderstood kale.

Just like there are many ways to cook chicken, there is more than one way to cook kale. My favorite way is in soup. And to be fair to the South, I love boiled-to-death greens. All of that porky goodness.

But here I will cook the greens almost dry, with lots of garlic, chili and lemon. I think that idea of canned vegetables has stuck well past the 1930’s. I was not around then, But I have to imagine that in the 1880’s, the economics of fuel consumption would have prohibited cooking green for hours and hours. But the canned food that became so ubiquitous in the States after the big wars just changed our palate. More salt, softer food and a milder taste. Crunchy or toothy hot vegetables just freak people out. Mushy is the clear winner.

Bleh! Let’s go the opposite way.

Basically I am going to cook garlic in olive oil, add red pepper flakes then the kale. Cook on medium high tossing every minute or so for about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste at about 5 minutes in. At 15 minutes add 1/4 cup lemon juice and toss the kale for a minute. Taste for salt, pepper lemon and tenderness and adjust. this will be slightly chewy and it should be. Try it!

Kale cooked  almost dry, with lots of garlic, chili and lemon.


32 oz Fresh kale or about 3 bunches with the hard center stem trimmed out.
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon  pepper
5 Cloves garlic – 1 clove kept separate
1 Teaspoon red chili flakes
2 tablespoons  olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice


In a large soup pot, add the olive oil and set to medium high.
Add  4 cloves of the garlic  and chili flakes (or sirracha or Thai chili garlic paste – it’s your party).
Add the kale and turn every minute or so with tongs for 5 minutes.

Really keep tossing the kale. Don’t let it sit or the bottom will burn.

Add the salt and pepper and toss for another 10 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and reserved on clove of garlic and toss for a minute.
Taste for salt, pepper and lemon and adjust to taste.

More Kale! Duh-lightful!

Check out NPR’s story “Superfood Kale in the Limelight.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Christine Little February 1, 2012 at 2:33 PM

love Kale.Kids don’t though. I do the same thing with beet greens. (which you can get for free at my market because people just throw them away)


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