Recently I was sitting in the most beautiful dining room in New Hampshire and had some great sautéed kale. I asked the chef about the preparation. She was nice enough to give me her recipe and allowed me to take a picture with my camera phone. (Which is why the last photo of the finished plate doesn’t do it justice!) The kale was enjoyed with some local corn on the cob and fresh sliced tomatoes from the garden.
She swears that the technique is the most important thing to the recipe – for example: never letting the garlic burn; sauteing the kale slowly so it has a chance to get tender and making sure not to add the tomatoes too soon, so they add their juice but don’t turn into sauce.
Here is how it was prepared…
(Feeds 4 modestly or 2 hungry with leftovers.)
Wash and de-stem 2 large bunches of Kale.
Drain but don’t dry – you want a bit of moisture on the leaves. Don’t chop, tear into pieces and add to pan while sauteing.1-2 large tomatoes – rough cut
1 red pepper chopped small dice
1 small head or 1/2 of a large head of fresh garlic chopped fine
1-2 small stalks celery, chopped small dice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
olive oil – 1-2 tbsp to start, another tbsp may be needed later in recipe if pan looks dry
Optional spices: dried oregano, dried basil, dried marjoram. She uses a healthy couple of shakes of any or all of these depending on her mood
salt and pepper to taste – she uses neither while cooking preferring to let the diner put their own on. When I tried this I didn’t add any salt or pepper – it was that delicious all on its own!
Add celery and garlic to 1-2 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat in large saute pan. Lightly saute, being careful not to brown – only soften and “sweat” the vegetables. Add kale in batches, tearing into pieces as you go along, turning often with tongs. Make sure to thoroughly mix the garlic and celery with the kale. Otherwise the celery and garlic could burn if left on bottom of pan too long – even if heat is medium or med-low. After a while (aprox 10-15 mins) you will have incorporated 1/2 to 2/3 of the kale. Add another tablespoon of oil if pan appears too dry. The moisture from the washed kale should help. Add diced red peppers. Add spices. Add rest of kale. (about 8-10 mins more adding peppers and balance of kale.) Add tomatoes and vinegar. Slowly saute about 8-10 mins more. Total saute time aprox 20-30 mins. Serve hot by itself or over rice.
Author’s suggestion (and completely NOT endorsed by the vegetarian chef):
I think this would be delicious served with some grilled turkey kielbasa! 🙂