Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Favorite Kale

I love to cook Kale because it reminds me of the years I lived in East Tennessee. As a child I hated and despised any kind of leafy greens, which was something my parents ate on a regular basis. As I've grown older my tastes have changed along the way, and now I really love spinach dishes, and Kale is one of my favorites. It is very easy to make and doesn't wilt down as much as other greens, so it makes a good amount. For a purely vegetarian version, use a little olive oil to brown the onion, and leave out the bacon. Still a delicious and nutritious dish.

This is my method:

1 bunch of leaf Kale

2 strips of lean bacon chopped in small crosswise slices

(optional) 1/4 of an onion, chopped

1/4 teaspoon dry red pepper flakes

salt & pepper

A dash of vinegar

Rinse the leaves well by submerging in a large bowl of cold water. The curly leaves trap soil so rinse well. Using a very sharp knife, cut the stem out of each leaf. I fold them in half so there is just one easy cut and the stem is out. When all stems are removed, coarsely chop leaves in about 1-2 inch sections crosswise. In a very large pan over med-hi heat, brown the chopped bacon and (optional) onion for a minute or two. When they are starting to brown, add the chopped kale, salt & pepper, and pepper flakes. Stir, then turn heat down to medium. Add 2 cups water and cover. When it comes back to a boil, add a dash of vinegar to the greens and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until your choice of tenderness. Drain and serve with corn bread and beans. I always add red wine vinegar at the table.

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