Before discovering Suzanne Goin's slow-cooked Tuscan kale, I thought I knew nearly every possible way to prepare dark leafy greens: sautéed quickly with garlic and red pepper flakes; raw, sliced thinly, and massaged with dressing; and boiled four ways à la Zuni Cafe. But Goin's recipe, which calls for blanching the kale first, then cooking it slowly with sautéed onions for 30 minutes, was unlike any method I had ever tried. The kale essentially cooks until it turns black and is crispy at the edges, and it has become one of my favorite things to eat.
The only trouble with the recipe is that it never makes enough -- I can eat a pound of this kale in one sitting. But when it's beefed up with toasted bread crumbs and crispy pancetta, and when it's topped with a poached egg or served over creamy polenta, it starts becoming a meal. Slow-cooked kale is a nice addition to so many dishes from pastas to grain salads to pizza, but it seems to pair particularly well with eggs -- it is delicious tucked into an omelet with feta cheese.
Notes: This is my favorite way to prepare/use slow-cooked Tuscan kale, but know the recipe can be adapted to your liking. You can omit the pancetta and use an additional tablespoon of olive oil. You can use crushed red pepper flakes in place of the chile. You can top it with a fried or soft-boiled egg. I've learned not to skimp on the olive oil and to not rush the kale-cooking process — the key is to not stop cooking until the kale is black. —Alexandra Stafford
WHO: Alexandracooks is a Virginia-based graphic designer.
WHAT: Super tasty slow-cooked kale that’s a perfect side dish for dinner -- or topped with poached eggs for breakfast.
HOW: Patience is key to slow-cooking the kale. Don’t be afraid of the dark, crispy edges that appear after a half hour or so -- they're what makes it so good.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We tried this without the pancetta and it was still indulgent and super tasty. We made it in the afternoon; the next morning, we re-heated it and topped it with a poached egg for a perfect, healthy breakfast. —goop