January 12, 2009 | Vegetables
I’ve been on a kale kick for awhile now. Maybe it’s my iron poor blood, exhausted from the holidays and travel, screaming for the nutrition, or maybe it’s just downright tasty, but whatever the reason, I’m drawn to this stuff, and can’t be more pleased about how easy it is too cook and how great it tastes.
Kale is tougher than spinach, and can be bitter if not cooked properly, but if you follow these simple steps, you’ll have great kale every time. Begin by stripping the leafy greens from the tough stalks. Just hold the end of the stalk with one hand and use the other hand to gently pull the green leaves off. The small amount of stalk that stays attached to the greens is tender enough to eat, so don’t worry about that. Discard the tough naked stalks.
The next secret to cooking kale is to first boil it in salted water, then drain it and shock it with some cold water to stop it from continuing to cook. Finish it by sauteing it with your favorite fat and seasonings (I like extra virgin olive oil and garlic, but use butter and another seasoning if you like). Don’t overcook the kale – you don’t want mush!
Garlicky Braised Kale
2 pounds kale, trimmed and chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil; add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the chopped kale to the boiling water and cook until they are almost tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, then add garlic for 30 seconds. Add kale and toss to heat through. Remove from heat and serve immediately.