Thursday, May 17, 2012

Carried Away with Kale (Week 20)

Thank you Mike (Smith Family Farms) for loading me up with kale.  It has been an experience....

I trotted over to the Farmer's Market outside Kristina's on Saturday and picked up a healthy bag of kale.  My bag had at least 3 kinds of kale, a bunch of dandelion greens and a large bunch of spinach.  I considered juicing it but, since I was in an experimental mood, I thought "let's cook first.....and test it out on my Hubby".

First up was a braised kale made with dinosaur kale

  •  1 large bunch of kale chopped, rough ribs removed
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Bari olive oil
  • 1/4 dry white wine (I used Fresno State Chardonnay left over from the night before....left over wine......not a norm in our house)
  • 1/2 to 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • About 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Bring pot of water to boil and cook the cake for 3 to 5 minutes till wilted.  Drain.

In a heavy frying pan, add oil and garlic and heat.  Add kale and wine, cover and cook till almost dry.  Add stock and cook covered until tender (about 30 minutes).  Add more broth if not tender and continue's where I went "wrong" -- I removed this a tiny bit too soon.  My husband loves veggies on the slight side of raw so I always under cook.  HA not do this with kale.  The "review" was "This tastes like a straw bale!  Honey, why do you insist on torturing me with cattle feed!"

I personally loved it....he wasn't a fan.  Enough said.

Next, I moved towards Kale and Toasted Walnut Pesto.  This was fabulous and by far the best way to get the nutrients (no serious cooking).

  • 1/2 c. plain walnuts (Thanks, Dad....he raked them up from our old tree in the backyard, cracked and cleaned them!!  YEAH Dad!!)
  • 2 smashed garlic cloves (I like 3 but, hey, I'm a Dalmatian girl....we live for garlic)
  • 3 c. chopped kale with ribs removed (I used the more tender kale, plain old green kale)
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 to 1 c. of Fresno State Arborsana (love the "green" flavor but any good quality olive oil will do)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chop the walnuts coarsely and toast in a dry frying pan.  Shake/stir till lightly toasted.  Remove from heat.  Pulse garlic in the food processor.  Add kale, walnuts (cooled) and cheese and pulse until chopped.  You may have to open it a few times and push the kale down.  With processor running on low, add the olive oil in a steady stream until you get the consistency you want.  Add salt and pepper to taste (at least a tsp of each).

As you may have read from my arugula musings, I really like to spread  pesto on bread.  This was exceptionally good with french bread and goat cheese!

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