There is no need to wax poetic on the benefits of kale, because there has been so much good press on the power-veggie over the last few years, you’d have to be a hermit not to be aware.
One night for dinner, to go along with my extra-thick, spicy pork chops, I wanted a simple side recipe for kale. A version of this one popped up on NYT Cooking website by Sam Sifton. I made several adaptations however, and they are incorporated into the recipe below. Sam said this is a technique that elevates basic sautéed greens into something even more savory and tender, so I was game to try.
No need to toss the kale stems, just chop them up along with the leaves and sauté them as well. The NYT recipe called for red-wine vinegar, but I substituted an aged tangerine balsamic vinegar (other options are lemon or orange juice.)
As far as the olive oil, a 1/4 cup seemed a bit excessive for one bunch of the greens, so I reduced it to 2 tablespoons; I upped the number of garlic cloves slightly, and included one minced shallot. My burners tend to run very hot, so I adjusted the setting from high heat to medium to prevent burning, which I noted in the directions bellow.
Savory & Tender Sautéed Kale
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 large bunch kale, with leaves and stems coarsely chopped
- ½ cup vegetable stock, white wine or water
- Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Pinch of red-pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp. tangerine balsamic vinegar
- Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium heat until it shimmers. Add shallot and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Toss in garlic slices and red pepper flakes and sauté for another minute.
- Add kale to the pan and add the stock.
- Use tongs to toss the greens in the oil and stock, then cover and cook for approximately 7 minutes, until it is soft and wilted, but still quite green.
- Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated, another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, add the vinegar (or juice) using a wooden spatula to release any browned bits, and toss to combine.
It made a great side dish for the Spice-Rubbed Grilled Pork Chop dinner.