Dear foodpickle I have kale. Have a good recipe?
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pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
Which type of kale? Curly or "tuscan" (sometmes called 'dragon kale')? It makes a good foundation for a minestrone or combined with bread, "ribollita" which means reboiled the next day. Portuguese caldo verde would be good; you can combine the kale (or thinly sliced collards) with potatoes and linguica in a very traditional soup. It's odd that in this country it's mostly used as a garnish in low end restaurants.
sliced very very thin in salads, floating in soups, sauteed with carmelized onions in a savory galette with cheddar, or my personal favorite: roasted on a sheet pan with a little olive oil, a little salt and some chile flakes (makes an awesome topping for pasta or polenta)
I must confess that I hate kale. But it grows so well here and is so very nutritious so we force ourselves to eat it. My favorite disguise is chopping it up and we cook it into our chicken soup. It adds a nice earthy flavor and satisfaction that we're eating it up!
Make a caesar salad using kale. It's really delicious.
I love Caldo Verde, Portuguese Kale Soup. I first made a simple Emeril recipe: he sizzles whole garlic cloves, bay leaves and chile flakes in olive oil, then adds chopped onion and smoked sausage of your choice (linguica, chorizo or whatever.) In 8 minutes add diced potato and thinkly sliced kale strips. Cover generously with water, chicken stock or 1/2 of each. Season with salt and pepper. You can google any number of recipes and variations with beans and other things.
My favorite kale recipe is a salad. Julienne your kale and then macerate it in a vinegrette of shallots, lemon, salt, pepper, olive oil and a bit of honey. Add toasted pine nuts, currents and some parmesean cheeses. It's lovely and addictive.
The only thing I've ever done with kale tastes so good to me that I have never had the urge to try it any other way (though a good kale soup would be great).
I trim away the tough parts of the stalks and then tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces with my hands. I then blanch the leaves briefly in salted boiling water. After draining the leaves, I heat some butter and olive oil in a pan and add finely chopped shallot and garlic and a few red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. when the shallot and garlic soften (but not brown), I add the kale and saute for a few minutes, seasoning with a little more salt and pepper when I add the kale. Then I remove it all to a plate and squeeze just a touch of lemon juice on top of the whole thing.
It is simple and delicious.
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