My family loves to top pizza with a combination of kale, slivered almonds and feta. Here, I have gussied up our favorite pizza topping for a lovely stand alone side. Sautéing ginger in butter coaxes out its natural sweetness, especially in contrast with the greens, though it ends with a subtle bite. Cream rounds out the flavors while feta adds a tangy punch. —gingerroot
4-5 as a side
large bunches kale, I used Red Russian and Lacinato (about 2 lbs)
scant 1/4 cups
minced fresh ginger (from about a peeled 2 inch piece)
For Red Russian kale, cut about an inch below leaves. Save stems for another use or the worm bin. For lacinato kale, trim off about two inches from the ends. Wash leaves thoroughly, but do not dry. You want some water clinging to the leaves. Make sure to check all of the nooks and crannies under the lacinato kale for hitchhikers.
Place rinsed leaves in a large pot, layering lacinato kale on the bottom, if using. Crank the heat up to medium and cover pot. Keep a close eye on your greens, tossing with a wooden utensil once they start to steam. As soon as they wilt and turn bright green, remove them from pot and set aside to cool. Once cool, gently squeeze out any excess liquid and chop.
Heat butter and olive oil in a small skillet set over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic, cooking, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about a minute. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
Pour sautéed ginger and garlic into a shallow gratin dish or similar ovenproof vessel, making sure to scrape out all the butter and oil as well. Spread mixture around bottom of the dish, essentially buttering it. Add chopped kale to dish and gently mix well to combine. NOTE: An ovenproof skillet will do in a pinch. If you decide to go this route, make sure you saute the ginger and garlic in a skillet large enough to accommodate the greens and cheese/cream mixture.
Thoroughly combine feta, cream and water in a bowl, using a fork to mash any large pieces of cheese. Spoon mixture over the gingery greens, and press down on the cheese slightly. Sprinkle chopped almond slivers over the top. Pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the top is just beginning to brown. Remove and serve immediately. Enjoy!
My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love.
Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.