Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cooking: Sautéed Kale with Curry Pine Nuts

Sauteed KaleKale is in good supply at the farm stand and farmers' market, and we're increasing the amount of vegetables, especially dark green ones, in our diet.

However, we both have a bias against greens. Too tough. Too bitter. Too…green.

How to cook them so we actually eat them? Here's one option.

Sautéed Kale with Curry Pine Nuts
serves 2

1/2 bunch kale
1/2 sweet onion, such as Walla Walla or Vidalia, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced *
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 lemon

Wash the kale and shake off most of the water. With a sharp knife, cut out the stem. Stack the leaves and very finely shred them. This works best with a sharp knife, as these greens are tough.

In a large sauté pan or wok, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Sauté until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced garlic (slicing the garlic keeps it from burning so readily) and cook for 1 minute. Add the shredded kale and toss it to coat in the oil. Season with kosher salt (greens benefit from salting both at the start of cooking and at the end).

Pop a lid on the pan for a few minutes, then stir everything again. Replace the lid for a few more minutes, or until the kale is nicely wilted. Watch it so it doesn't burn. Remove the lid and continue cooking, stirring often, until the kale is done to your liking. Season with a little more salt, ground pepper, and lemon zest.

Drizzle a little more olive oil over the greens, then squeeze the 1/2 lemon over it all. Serve topped with Curry Pine Nuts.

Curry Pine Nuts

1/2 cup raw pine nuts
1-2 teaspoons curry powder

Place the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium-high heat and toast, stirring often, until they start to turn a nutty brown and they sweat a little oil. Stir in the curry powder and continue toasting just one more minute. Remove to a bowl to cool.

We had this with some red quinoa topped with toasted pumpkin seeds, and some fresh tomato.

* If you grow your own garlic or have access to a farmers' market, try using fresh garlic. Basically, fresh garlic hasn't finished forming the dry paper skins that separate the cloves. When really young, you can chop up the entire head; once the skins begin to form, just peel them. This garlic is delicious and mild.

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