Savory and Tender Sautéed Kale

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

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Add kale to the pan and add the stock.
  3. 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.
  4. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated, another 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. 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.

IMG_7448It made a great side dish for the Spice-Rubbed Grilled Pork Chop dinner.

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