Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kale: Not just for garnish at the salad bar

From time to time, we receive a gracious invitation to dine with our friends, the Andersons. And these invitations are highly prized, not just because of the delightful company, but also because Ms. Anderson is a phenomenal cook. She's adventurous, refined, creative, and has amazing culinary intuition. One night, early last fall, Mr. Anderson cut fresh greens from their garden for us to eat. And I found that not only do I like kale, but that the husbeast likes kale too. Shocking!

I started buying this leafy vegetable regularly at the grocery store, and have found many recipes that use it, such as white bean & kale soup, potato and kale enchiladas, and the delicious garlicky mushrooms and kale (pictured) from Appetite for Reduction. Now, whenever I eat kale, I think of my friend with appreciation!

This super simple recipe was delicious last night - 6 cloves of garlic sauteed in a teaspoon of oil. Add chopped mushrooms (I had half of a container of button mushrooms in the fridge, usually I add more), saute 5 minutes. Add 2 bunches of washed, trimmed kale and a few tablespoons of water. Mix it all up and cook 10 minutes, until the kale turns brilliant green and reduces in bulk. After I had everything in the pan, I put in two tilapia fillets (topped with a teaspoon of 'butter', salt, and pepper) in the oven for 6 minutes at 500 degrees. Supper was on the table in 30 minutes, if you count the trip to the grocery store!

I hope you try some kale soon - it's available all year inexpensively in the store or can be grown in your own garden. It's also sort of a superfood - it's been found to reduce risks of 5 major cancers (bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate), is chock-full of anti-oxidents, and contains very high amounts of vitamins A, K, and C. Get some!


  1. We grew it last year and it is very hardy in the garden. We could still pick and use it after we had freezing weather! Amazing!