Kale with Pancetta, Cream and Toasted Rosemary Walnuts

By • August 31, 2011 • 62 Comments



Author Notes: A hearty kale dish that is worthy of your holiday table (without being too much work), but also does double duty as leftovers - just toss with pasta! You may want to make extra walnuts too, just for snacking. - apartmentcookererinmcdowell

Food52 Review: When this was served at a recent dinner party, someone remarked, "I like that you don't cook the kale out of it." And this is true: while there are richer elements -- pancetta, cream and nuts -- scattered throughout, the kale itself, only cooked for a few minutes, is what shines through, enhanced rather than drowned out by the other ingredients. Apartmentcooker's toasted rosemary walnuts (sprinkled on top) are genius -- a technique we're sure to repeat on its own time and again. - A&MA&M

Serves 4

Kale

  • 4 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
  • 4 large shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large bunch kale, roughly torn
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream (let's just say a healthy splash)

Toasted Walnuts with Rosemary and Fleur de Sel

  • 3/4 cups walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  • generous sprinkling of fleur de sel
  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until the fat renders and the pancetta is crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the kale (in batches, if necessary), and toss to evenly heat. When the kale is mostly wilted, add the wine. Lower the heat and simmer until the wine is almost entirely evaporated, 4-5. Toss the kale occasionally as it cooks.
  4. Season the kale with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes. Add the cream and stir well to combine. Add some more cream, if desired (I usually do). Keep warm.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the walnuts with the olive oil well to coat. Add the rosemary and fleur de sel and toss well to combine. Transfer the walnuts to a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly, and roughly chop.
  6. Fold the pancetta into the kale, transfer the to a serving dish and top with the walnuts.

Comments (62) Questions (4)

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6 months ago Joanne

I did this tonight and it was really good. I would make it again. Rather than the heavy cream, I substituted a small amount of coconut cream with a dollop of fat free yogurt. The savoury of the pancetta combined with the bitter of the kale is definitely the highlight of the dish. A unique dish.

Stringio

9 months ago Elizabeth Maxwell

I added whiskey to this instead of wine. I think I'm drunk now.

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over 1 year ago trixoakley

Found the oven temp! Sorry

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over 1 year ago trixoakley

Oven temp for walnuts?

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over 2 years ago Juliette07

Is. Pancetta healthier than bacon?

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Made this and served it with dinner last night. Excellent! So easy, too. ;o)

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almost 3 years ago Ms. T

Congratulations--this is definitely on my list to try as soon as I come out of denial that summer is over :)

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almost 3 years ago Smallpeace

This dish is a real winner in so many respects. Kale is so great for you, and, by dressing it up a little decadent pancetta and splash of cream, you make it irresistible to those who wouldn't otherwise eat it. Good for you. I'm trying this one this weekend.

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almost 3 years ago erinmcdowell

Thanks - I really hope you like it!

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almost 3 years ago gingerroot

Congratulations! Looking forward to trying this soon.

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almost 3 years ago erinmcdowell

Thanks! Let me know how you like it!

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

What temperature do you recommend for roasting the walnuts? I'm making this on Sunday!! ;o)

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almost 3 years ago erinmcdowell

I usually just do mine in a 300 degree (F) oven...or sometimes on the stovetop so I can keep a closer eye on them (I have a tendency to forget about nuts and/or coconut in the oven and burn it to a crisp).

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almost 3 years ago SKK

Outstanding - and love you don't cook the hell, I mean kale, out of it.

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almost 3 years ago erinmcdowell

Haha! Thanks!

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almost 3 years ago Bevi

Congrats! This is a great combo.

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almost 3 years ago erinmcdowell

Thanks!

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almost 3 years ago Summer of Eggplant

Congratulations! Looks yummy!

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almost 3 years ago erinmcdowell

Thanks!!!

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almost 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congratulations apartmentcooker! I still haven't gotten to trying this, but it is right at the top of my list!

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almost 3 years ago erinmcdowell

Thanks so much! Let me know how you like it!

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almost 3 years ago Midge

Congrats apartmentcooker!

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almost 3 years ago erinmcdowell

Thanks!!!

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almost 3 years ago ashleypiersonchasesdinner

Congratulations!!

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almost 3 years ago erinmcdowell

Thank you!!

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almost 3 years ago Hilarybee

Congratulations!

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almost 3 years ago erinmcdowell

Thank you! I had your dish twice last week!!! It's awesome!!!

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almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations on the win!

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almost 3 years ago erinmcdowell

Thanks!!!

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almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

congratulations!!! so happy for you!

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almost 3 years ago erinmcdowell

Thanks :)

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almost 3 years ago wssmom

Congratulations!

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almost 3 years ago erinmcdowell

Thank you!