Recipes: Kale 3 Ways
Incredibly versatile, kale varieties can be used interchangeably in most recipes, including these classic, easy preparations.
Crispy Kale Chips With Sea Salt
An indulgent side dish for dinner — or a healthier snack alternative to chips. Roasting brings out smoky, buttery flavors and creates an irresistible, melt-in-your-
Roasting to the point of crispness at high heat does involve some nutritional sacrifices, but it’s such a simple and delicious preparation (and one that has earned kale so many new fans), it’s worth making now and then. You can also cook longer at a lower temperature, if you prefer. And if you’re not afraid of fat, you can be more generous with the oil. For a twist, substitute Cajun spice or lemon pepper for the salt.
4 cups kale (1 large bunch)
1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash the kale. Fold each leaf in half and tear or cut out the tough stem, then stack and slice into manageable-size pieces.
- Toss pieces in a bowl with olive oil until coated, then arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Roast for five minutes, then turn carefully with metal tongs and roast another seven to 10 minutes until kale begins turning brown, crisp and brittle. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve promptly.
This quick saute works well with kale or virtually any dark leafy green (spinach, Swiss chard, collards, dandelion greens, etc.) to create a healthy, delicious side dish.
By varying the seasonings (subbing in chili-garlic sauce, curry paste or peanut sauce for the soy sauce, for example), you can create an eclectic array of variations.
This basic preparation (sans seasonings) can also work to prep kale for using in other recipes, including a delicious egg scramble (see page 4).
For another classic preparation, saute kale with small amounts of bacon for flavor, then lightly braise in vegetable stock to soften.
12 cups kale (3 large bunches)
1 tbs. sesame oil
1 cup diced yellow onions
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tbs. tamari soy sauce
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
- Wash kale, remove stems and cut into 1-inch squares.
- Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil to just coat the bottom of the pan. Add onions and garlic and saute for one to two minutes. Stir in kale, ginger and vegetable stock.
- Cook until the kale starts to wilt, about two minutes. Stir in tamari soy sauce and pepper. Remove from heat and serve.
Raw Kale Salad
Combining finely chopped kale with lemon and olive oil — then gently massaging them together — breaks down kale’s stiffness and bitterness, leaving you with tender greens bursting with flavor. Don’t skimp on the chopping: Not having to chew through large chunks of raw kale will increase your eating pleasure.
1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
1 tbs. finely shredded basil
- Place the kale in mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, oil, garlic and salt. Massage the kale to soften for about one minute.
- Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
- Allow the salad to rest and soften for about 15 minutes before serving.
Chef Cary Neff is the author of the New York Times bestseller Conscious Cuisine (Sourcebooks, 2002).
Next: Kale Glossary and more cooking tips