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To blanch or not when using kale in a pasta dish that's not being cooked long?

asked by Pamela731 over 1 year ago
8 answers 2314 views
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sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

I made a pasta dish just the other day with kale and used exactly what sL said, I did blanch it first because the kale would have been tough just sauteing in the oil, I blanched for 10 minutes, threw it into an ice bath then drained and dried before adding to the sizzling olive oil, garlic and pepper flakes. It was delicious and the kale still maintained its toothsome quality yet the stalks were tender. Because the water had quite a bit of the nutrients I saved it and refrigerated and will use in soups, add to a veggie stock or even use in smoothies.

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sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

I should have mentioned I used curly kale and it's quite tough, even at 10 minutes it was still quite crisp.

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added over 1 year ago

Blanching is probably necessary. 10 minutes is way too long though. 30 seconds tops before it goes into an ice bath. Cook the stems separately if you want those in the dish. I'd probably use some of the water leftover from blanching and season it and spice it an then sort of braise the stems ifyouwill. You could also pickle them. I've done that with Swiss chard stems from an old Bon appetit recipe and it would work identically with kale stems. If you want to play around with not blanching them, try massaging the kale with a heavy hand of salt and lemon juice and do that about ten minutes before cook time. It should soften them considerably (breaking down cellulose from acid). Then add into pasta dish. I think it might work and they'll continue to soften with heat. Let me know which way you go and how it works out.

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added over 1 year ago

I wanted to get back to you. I like it the best. I actually did both the 30 second blanch and the 10 minute one. I tossed both with halved grape tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes and EVO with my pasta. The shorter blanch tastes fresher. Thx

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added over 1 year ago

I would blanch Curly Kale (the most common variety) but NOT Lacinato Kale (aka Tuscan Kale) as it is very tender. SO tender that you can eat it raw in a salad (massage it with vinegar first so break it down a little) I don't usually blanch Kale for pasta dishes-usually cooking it in the sauce or sauteing it with the pasta does the trick, for me anyway.

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added over 1 year ago

A trick that's worked for me is adding the chopped/ribboned kale to the pot of boiling pasta for the last several minutes of cooking. Then when the pasta's done to where I want/need it, I just dump the whole pot into the colander.

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added over 1 year ago

oh SMSF, you are a cook after my own heart. i LOVE my greens ribbon sliced...even more so when to cook them i don't have to dirty anything extra.