Monday, May 27, 2013

Dinners With Friends: Kale Edition

All the cool kids are eating kale these days. It's everything a trendy food should be: packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein; vegan and gluten-free. It even leaps tall cancer cells in a single bound, earning it the hipper-than-hip title of "superfood."

The only question left is how, exactly, you're supposed to cook the stuff. It's so...chewy. And it comes in such enormous bunches. What are you supposed to do with all of it?

This week I asked the expert. And by the expert I mean my roommate, who spends more time in Whole Foods than I do, and has figured these things out.

Step 1: Yes, kale comes in intimidatingly large bunches, but you end up not using all of it, because first you get rid of the stems, which take up a lot of real estate in the bunch. Then rip up the rest of the leaves into more manageable pieces. (Don't forget to compost the unused bits or freeze them for soup stock!) Put the leaves you're going to use in a colander and give them a quick rinse.

Step 2: Heat up a heavy-bottomed pan and coat the bottom with oil, then put your kale in. Don't worry if it piles high, it will cook down eventually. After 2 to 3 minutes, stir it up with tongs to make sure all parts of the pile are getting equal heat, then add some lemon juice, salt, and chopped garlic for flavor.

Step 3: That's pretty much it. Remove a leaf and sample it for flavor and texture. Add more seasoning if desired, and leave it to fry a little longer if it's still chewier than you'd like.
Serve however you'd like. We found it to be a perfect side dish with these Portobella Mushroom Burgers from The Adirondack Chick.

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