Okay, so I know kale has been enduring a bad rap. For centuries, probably. But just a few weeks ago, Marla posted all about her newfound love for this leafy green veggie (and while massaging kale strikes me as a leetle weird, anything is better with lemon juice and olive oil). I also happen to have a couple rockin’ kale recipes stashed away in my repertoire. And don’t even get me started on the cache of kale recipes circulating in the ole’ blogosphere. A search on Epicurious turned up 120 results, so you know there are options.
And why shouldn’t we all love kale? it’s available right now, in all its curly, chlorophyll-infused glory, and probably will be for a while, if this unseasonably warm winter weather keeps up. It contains a ton of beta-carotene, which helps strengthen the immune system (something we all need this time of year, cough cough sneeze) AND it goes particularly well in soup, a winter staple.
I acknowledge, however, that not everyone gets as excited about chlorophyll as I do. So I have included a couple of recipes below that should, hopefully, get you excited about kale. One contains sausage, which you really can’t argue with. These recipes are just the starting point, however- kale is great sauteed and can easily replace spinach in any soup or pasta recipe you stumble upon, which can in turn save you from buying those depressing boxes of half-wilted baby spinach at the grocery store.
BAKED KALE CHIPS
(originally discovered here)
1 bunch (about 6 ounces) kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt. Don’t add too much! I overdid it and as a result my kale chips were rather lip-puckeringly salty. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Place baking sheet on a rack to cool.
You can also grind these chips in to a powder and sprinkle over popcorn with parmesan cheese.
KALE, BEAN AND SAUSAGE SOUP
(shamelessly pilfered from here)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 ounces kielbasa or linguiça sausage, cut into thin rounds
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 3/4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
- 1/2 large bunch kale, stems cut away, leaves thinly sliced
- 1 15-ounce can small white beans, drained
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add sausage and onion; Sauté until onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Add broth and kale; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Add beans and wine. Cook until kale is tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.