We’ve been seeing kale more often these days on grocery shelves and at farmers markets. When it comes to healthy foods, few can top the nutrient profile of kale. The dark leafy green is a good source of dietary fiber; vitamins A, C, K and B6; and calcium, potassium, copper and manganese.
Many people aren’t sure how to prepare kale, but it’s simple. When cleaning kale leaves, rinse them well, fold large leaves in half along the stem and strip leaves off from the stem.
Roughly chop the leaves and simply stir-fry with garlic and olive oil or sesame oil and a bit of salt.
Another easy and tasty idea is to toss the leaves with a little olive oil and roast in a 375 degree oven for 5 minutes. Turn leaves and continue roasting another 5 to 7 minutes or until brown and crisp; lightly sprinkle with salt.
Here are a couple of kale recipes that are tried and true.
Farmers Market Pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 links andouille or Portuguese sausage, sliced
2 sweet onions, sliced
1 bunch kale, chopped
1/2 pound fresh linguine or spaghetti
3 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Bring large pot of water to boil. Heat large saute pan over medium-high. Add olive oil, sausage and onions and cook until sausage pieces are browned and onion is caramelized; remove from pan.
In same pan, add kale and cook until wilted and tender, adding a little water if necessary.
While kale is cooking, add pasta to boiling water. When kale is cooked, add sausage, onions and tomatoes to the pan. Taste; season with salt and pepper.
When pasta is cooked al dente, drain and reserve some of cooking water. Add pasta to saute pan; toss pasta with vegetables and sausage, adding a little of pasta cooking water if pasta looks dry.
Sprinkle with parsley and toss again. Divide among 4 serving dishes and serve immediately, passing Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top. Serves 4.
Arroz Com Couvres (Rice with Portuguese Cabbage)
1-1/2 cups white rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garli,c, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
7 ounces Portuguese sausage, chopped
1 bunch chopped kale or collard greens
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
Rinse rice; drain and set aside.
In large sauce pot over medium-high, heat olive oil; saute onion, garlic, salt, pepper, vinegar, sausage and kale until tender.
Add chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, carrots, and rice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until rice is almost cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir lightly.
Partially cover sauce pot, allowing steam to escape. Remove from heat and let stand at least 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6.
Note: If brown rice is substituted for white, increase chicken stock to 2 1/2 cups.