Slow Cooked Black Kale with Stewed Garlic

These pictures are products of my new camera. That’s right, no more point and shoot camera for this food blogger. I’ve moved into the big leagues and am now equipped with a DSLR camera. Please bear with me. The pictures might look just like those from my little Sony Cybershot until I get some practice under my belt and start to really learn about lighting, composition, etc. Friends, family, and strangers, get ready to be the victims of my practicing! (I think I’ve already improved since I started this blog. Right? Could be my eyes just tricking me? I do think I need a new contact prescription…).

Enough about my new toy, now is time for kale talk. I’ve already promoted this Vegetable God, ironically, in this post for Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips. While it’s nutritional benefits have not changed in the past month, my aversion to it has. So to all those kale haters out there (or to all of those who are thinking, “What the *&$% is kale?”), give it another try (or a first try). Then stick with it. Try it sauteed with lemon and garlic. Try it raw and mixed with mashed avocado, diced red onion, and a dash of cumin. Try it baked in the oven with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt to create the ultimate healthy snack, kale chips. Try it. I’m currently attempting to give new fruits and vegetables I claim to dislike or have never dared to cook, a try. Join me. My current project is beets. So far I’ve been unsuccessful. Lets consider them a work in progress.

This kale recipe comes from Andrea Reusing, the same Andrea Reusing who gave us these Whole Roasted Onions. Like those onions, this recipe is a snap to prepare. Perhaps more importantly, it offers a powerful punch of flavor despite its short list of ingredients. The olive oil, garlic, chile, lemon combination offers a complexity that doesn’t overshadow the kale flavor, but rather complements it in a surprisingly beautiful way. Have I convinced you to put kale at the center of your plate tonight? Or at least as a substantial side? One can only hope.

Slow-Cooked Kale with Stewed Garlic

adapted from Andrea Reusing’s Cooking in the Moment

The only substantial change I would suggest is reducing the amount of oil. I used the three tablespoons and found it to be a bit too much. That being said, I tend to not like a ton of oil. Take that as you will.

Serves 4 to 6

2 bunches (about 1 pound) of black kale (also known as Lacinato or dinosaur kale), stemmed and torn into big pieces

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Kosher salt

1/2 small dried ancho chile, or to taste, crumbled

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over heat. Salt it generously, add the kale, and blanch for 1 minute. Drain immediately and squeeze out excess water.

Return the pot to the stove over low heat; add olive oil and garlic, season with a pinch of salt, and cook gently for 3 to 5 minutes, until the garlic is soft but not browned. Add the chile and let it lightly toast for a moment before adding the kale and lemon zest. Season with another pinch of salt.

Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occassionally and adding a tablespoon or two of water as needed to keep it slightly moist.

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Filed under Sides, Vegetables

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