Monday, March 03, 2008

KALEidoscopic!

After viewing yesterday's Nutella-fest, you may feel the need for a little detox. Feast your eyes on this!
At the grocery store on Saturday night I felt a hankering for some greens. I really wanted chard, but they were out. Instead, I found this fabulously huge and healthy bunch of kale for the whopping price of $2.

It's as big as my head! And, it matches my hat.

I'd been seeing people rave about roasted kale, so I thought I'd try that.
It's very simple. Tear or cut your kale from the tough stems in chunks. Doesn't have to be too small, since it shrinks down when it cooks. Rinse it thoroughly and spin it dry or pat it with paper towels. Toss it with a splash of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. You can add garlic, or lemon zest, or a little sesame oil. But I opted for plain-Jane to start with.
Spread it in a foil-lined pan and bake in a 400-degree oven. After 5 minutes, toss it a little, then keep checking it every few minutes. Some people like it more green, and some more browned and crispy. I took it out when it was still a little of both. It's a very interesting flavor and texture! Rather on the chewy side. I think I like it crispier, so I'll let it cook longer next time. Makes a good snack!

But I didn't use all of it. How could I? BIG AS MY HEAD! What I really wanted was some sauteed greens to put on pasta.
So I chopped up some more and tossed it in a pan in which I'd already cooked a little onion and garlic in olive oil and a dash of sesame oil, stirred it and let it cook for a minute, then added oh, half a can of chicken stock, covered it and let it cook for another 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile I cooked some herb-y trumpet pasta.
There was a hint of nutmeg or maybe cinnamon in the pasta that worked nicely with the slightly bittersweet greens. And a sprinkle of shredded parm on top is de rigueur for me. Tasty!

And I still have some kale left to try roasting it again.

(P.S. from Tuesday night: I just roasted the rest of it, and I believe the trick is to leave it in the oven much longer than you think you should. I didn't time it, but I'd say 15 to 20 minutes, tossing occasionally. Much better! Crispy and crunchy but still with a little bit of chewy.)

10 comments:

pinknest said...

mmm, kale!! so green. so leafy. i had some the other night. but raw, with just some olive oil/lemon juice salad dressing. it's always fun to eat things as big as your head.

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

That looks great! Especially since I've been eating soo much junk lately!

Amy said...

Definitely a detox dish! I wonder if you could use the kale in place of Swiss chard; Emeril Lagasse has a recipe, I think on the Food Network site, for a soup with Swiss chard and meatballs that's really, really good.

Kitt said...

Oh yes, kale works great in soup, as do chard and escarole. I figure most hearty greens are fairly interchangeable. The flavors might vary, but I like them all.

Not sure I could eat kale raw, though, pinknest!

doggybloggy said...

Kale rocks...LOL my friend made a kale, grape, and banana smoothie for her kid that wont eat veggies...she drank the smoothie like it was "good"

Jen F. said...

Great idea! We need a new healthy snack and this looks like a great one to try...

Kitt said...

Try it, Jen! Note my P.S. that suggests roasting it longer than you think you should.

Hi doggybloggy. I noticed a few kale smoothie recipes in my webtrolling and just thought "yeeccccchhhh." Like a guy I used to know who put spirulina in everything. There's a limit to what I'll do for healthy.

Mary said...

I really like kale, but I've never tried roasting it. I'll have to give it a try.
The kale I found at the grocery this week was fairly wilty and gross. I'm so jealous of that beautifull bunch as big as your head!

White On Rice Couple said...

Love Kale! We don't eat it enough, but we do love it! $2 is a great price for the amount that you got.
Sometimes our grocer sells only 3 leaves (sometimes wilted) for $3, that's a rip off!
We've had it mostly in soups, like one of your readers mentioned and it's delicious!

Kitt said...

I think the kale must have just come in. I was back at the store tonight and the rest of it was still there, all wilty and sad.

Looking forward to farmers market season again, when the Hmong farmers have all the fun greens. Diane, surely they are year-round in LA?