Thursday, July 09, 2009

Kale

I love kale because it's so good for you, and it lasts so long in the fridge. Besides frozen vegetables (which I rarely use), kale is the only green thing that I can rely on to have in the house at all times (the organic stuff lasts about a week). Thus, I've been forced to get creative with what I do with it, usually in a hurry. Here are a few of my recent favorite quick kale meals:

1. The soup that I'm enjoying right now:
Sauté one whole sliced onion and about 3 sliced garlic cloves until clear. Add a few cubed red potatoes, and a can of chickpeas. Throw in some sea salt & fresh cracked pepper, a few dashes of smoked paprika, and about a teaspoon of fennel seeds. When that sizzles, throw in a bunch of sliced curly kale. Cover all of this with broth - this is the key: you want to use homemade chicken or beef stock, which is such a good thing to have in the freezer. Let it all simmer for about ten minutes, and serve. (Serves 2)

2. Kale/black bean bowl:
-Brown 2 cloves of crushed garlic in olive oil. Before it gets too cooked, shake a bunch of ground cumin into the oil so that you can smell the aroma. Before it burns (this can happen quickly), add one can of rinsed canned black beans. Set aside.
-Sauté a piece of sliced garlic in olive oil, add rinsed kale (you may need to add a bit more water)and stir to cook/wilt it. Season with salt and pepper, and a bit of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
-Put the kale in a bowl, top with the beans, and sprinkle a generous amount of chevre over the top. (Serves 2)

3. Summer Kale salad*:
De-stem kale and chiffonade. Chop some hard salami into tiny cubes, and do the same with a good hunk of aged, salty cheese like pecorino, parmesan or manchego. Mix up a dresssing with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a bit of dijon mustard. Toss all together. You can add a little something sweet, like dried cranberries or golden raisins, to balance out all the saltiness. This salad keeps in the fridge and gets even better when it gets a little soggy.

*I adapted this one from Michelle's soon-to-be-famous recipe

2 comments:

  1. Speaking of smoked paprika -- I've been making the perfect antidote to summer's end: homemade barley soup with onions, garlic, stewed tomatoes, shitake or porcini or whatever flavorful mushrooms are handy (dried is fine...and convenient), greens (kale,spinach), SMOKED PAPRIKA, salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Top it with a poached egg for a well-rounded meal --bring bread for dipping.

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  2. Yum! Last night I used that miracle ingredient to flavor this quick lamb-tagine dish:

    Ground lamb sauteed in a heavy skillet with onions, garlic, smoked paprika, cinnamon, ginger (fresh), coriander, cumin, salt & pepper; add zucchini cubes, drained cubed eggplant, a can of stewed tomatoes (in pieces), and some raisins. Let that bubble and stew and serve over couscous or quinoa like I did (presoaked first), with a bit of fresh cilantro chopped on top.

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