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Author Notes: My girlfriend and cohort in Smart Ass Kitchen is gluten sensitive and I am no friend of lactose so we're constantly searching for desserts that we can both enjoy without having to hail to the porcelain god afterwards. I've concocted a clever way to combine kale and the coma inducing sweetness of baklava without hurting either of our tummies. It's loosely based off of a classic Turkish baklava recipe I got off of ChefInYou and maintains that crispy, flakiness with the added bonus of a kale kick to the face instead of phyllo. —Smart Ass Kitchen
The Sweet Syrup
- 16 ounces honey
- 2 cups water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon orange peel, grated
The Nuts and Faux Dough
- 1 cup chopped almonds
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 bunches kale, deveined
- 4 ounces coconut butter, melted
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
- Mix the almonds and pecans together well with the ground clove and ground cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Really get in there and spread; don't be afraid to get caught tree handed and a little nutty. Sit it a side for a bit.
- In a saucepan, bring the water, honey, cinna-sticks, lemon juice and orange peel to a boil and let them mingle in the simmering heat of the saucepan jacuzzi for about 10-15 minutes, just enough to release the shyness of the cinna-sticks. After that,remove from heat let the sweet & spicy swingers cool.
- While they're cooling off, glaze a baking dish with the melted coconut butter. I used a 12" by 10" pyrex but any size will do as long as the dish bakes evenly. Begin layering one bunch of kale leaves on the bottom of a baking dish by laying them flat and then going over them with a brushstroke of coconut butter. You're going to want to brush each leaf before layering them flat on top of each other.
- Pour the nut mixture on top of the layered kale and spread it out evenly.
- Layer the second bunch of kale on top of the nut mixture just as you did before, brushing each leaf with melted butter before laying it down. Even kale likes to be pampered.
- Place uncovered in the oven and let it bake for about an hour. Check every now an then to make sure the kale isn't burning. You'll see the kale leaves gradually dehydrate and start to crisp.
- After all that baking is done and you remove this beautiful beast from the oven, pour the sweet syrup over it SLOWLY and CAREFULLY. You want maximum coverage, here.
- Now that that is done, let it sit and cool and try not to pick at it, as tempting as that will be. It's best to let it sit overnight but after a few hours it should be good enough to serve and enjoy.
- Eat the crap out of it and enjoy.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dark, Leafy Greens