Everyday Cooking

A Few Bunches of Kale, 5 Dinners

May 20, 2013

Put time into dinner now, and you can make it last forever -- or at least the whole week. Welcome to Halfway to Dinner, where we show you how to stretch your staples every which way.

Today: Jeanine Donofrio of Love and Lemons shows us how to get a some extra kale in our lives -- start with her recipe for Spanish Chickpeas with Kale 

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As much as I'd like to be, I'm not someone who's usually able to plan and shop for a week's worth of meals at once. Organization isn't my strong suit, and I can never predict on a Sunday what I'll feel like eating on Thursday. But what I can do is stock up on some basics, including a few bunches of kale -- it's my formula for impromptu healthy meals. I know many of you love kale as much as I do, so here are a few creative ways to get some extra kale into your life.

Kale Chimichurri
This is my twist on the classic Argentinian sauce. I serve it over simply grilled whitefish and sautéed kale. In a food processor, pulse together a handful of raw kale leaves, a handful of parsley, a few fresh oregano leaves, garlic, a splash of sherry vinegar, and olive oil. Drizzle on tonight's dinner, and save the leftovers to drizzle on everything else. 

Kale & Eggs
Consider this breakfast for dinner. In an individual-sized baking dish, mix some canned or crushed fresh tomatoes with salt, pepper, and a pinch of smoked paprika. In a separate small bowl, toss about 1 cup of chopped raw kale with a bit of olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper. Place the kale in the baking dish along with a sprinkle of feta cheese and chopped scallions. Crack 1­ or 2 eggs into the dish and bake until set, about 10­ to 12 minutes. (You can also fry the eggs separately and place on top.) Finish with some freshly cracked black pepper.

Sushi Bowl with Crispy Kale
One of my favorite weeknight dinners is a simple brown rice sushi bowl. I mix my rice with a little bit of rice vinegar and a touch of sugar, then I try to choose toppings that vary in texture. I usually end up with avocado, edamame, nori, pickled shiso leaf (or pickled ginger), and crispy kale. To make the latter, toss kale leaves with some olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake until crispy. Crumble over the top of your rice bowl and top everything with some toasted sesame seeds.

Or, as my midwestern family called them growing up: "cheese triangles." These flaky little pastries are one of my favorite things my mom makes. I make a kale-­ified version of her recipe: chop and blanch about 5 leaves of kale, mix it with 1 cup of feta cheese, some minced garlic, a few chopped scallions, a teaspoon of dried oregano, salt, and pepper. To assemble, layer 2 sheets of phyllo dough, brush with melted butter, and slice it into 5 vertical strips. Place a teaspoon of filling at the bottom of each strip and roll it up, flag-style. Repeat the process until you run out of filling (you'll have around 15 triangles). Brush the outside with butter and bake in a 425-degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden.

Spanish Chickpeas with Kale
Espinacas con Garbanzos was my favorite dish in Barcelona. I make a version using kale instead of spinach, and you should too. Read on for the recipe. 

Serves 3 to 4, as a side

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon saffron
1 1/2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 to 3 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1/2 bunch kale, chopped
Salt & pepper
A few splashes lemon juice (optional)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here.

Photos by Jeanine Donofrio

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Letizia Marcia Pratabuy
    Letizia Marcia Pratabuy
  • Nancy Rossi
    Nancy Rossi
  • Tryumph
  • Pamela Andrews Deas
    Pamela Andrews Deas
  • Mrs Currie
    Mrs Currie
My name is Jeanine Donofrio, author The Love & Lemons Cookbook and the food blog loveandlemons.com. I create healthy, seasonal, (mostly) vegetarian. I love kale, green tea, cake, and of course lemons.


Letizia M. October 6, 2013
I love all recipies!!!!!!!!!!
Nancy R. July 25, 2013
Add some raisins to the espinacas con garbanzos and you'll have a real Catalan dish.
Tryumph May 26, 2013
do you really mean a tsp of saffron in the kale and chickpea recipe?
Pamela A. May 21, 2013
10 years ago I bought a package of organic kale seed, let some flower and reseed and have had kale growing since.
Kenzi W. May 21, 2013
I have to do this.
suzgab May 26, 2013
where do you live?
Pamela A. May 26, 2013
Western NC. Kale is a cool weather crop that I let flower and go to seed. I've collected and saved seed (when pods dry, shake in garbage bag)and the kale also reseeds itself where it grows.
Mrs C. May 20, 2013
I have a very similar dish made with spinach instead of kale, thin lemon slices instead of paprika and chopped anchovy fillets instead of feta. I have got to try your version today!
Letizia M. October 6, 2013
Hi Mrs Currie...where can I find this scale on the picture?...I love it....and the recipies!!!
Mrs C. October 7, 2013
Hello Letizia - yes, it's cast iron with a brass bowl and weight dish. I bought it in the UK from Boots the Chemist, well over 20 years ago I'm afraid... I also bought a set each of metric and imperial weights and I use it all the time. There are no batteries to die, springs to 'sproing', buttons or plastic to break and it works with simple gravity so it's as accurate as your eye! LOL.
I'm sure that there must be a manufacturer out there that can be contacted in 'inter web-land' who still churns these out. Another place to try might be your local antiques market. Good luck, any effort to get a hold of one will be well worth it!
Letizia M. October 9, 2013
Hi!!!!..I'm so glade whith you ansewer...oh! I'm brasilian and I live in Brasil....I'm no sure I'll find....so!!!!!...I have a nother question...do you have the italian bread recipies...(in the picture???? sorry for a lot of
questions...thanks, letizia.
Mrs C. October 9, 2013
No trouble at all Letizia and so wonderful to connect with you in Brasil. The bread is actually the product of the 'Tartine Bread' book by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson. You can order the English version through Amazon.com. I read it cover to cover and learned a lot about bread making which I LOVE!