My Love for Kale and How It All Began

As I mentioned last week, I’m trying to do a little detox between Thanksgiving and latkes (oh yes, there will be so many latkes).  I’m trying super hard to eat all my healthiest recipes.  And seriously, what can be healthier than kale?

I love kale.  I can’t get enough of it.  I can go through a pound of kale in one sitting (and by myself) in the form of baked kale chips.  I love throwing kale into a hearty soup because it can stand up to the boiling.  And I am downright addicted to Whole Food’s raw garlicky kale at their salad bar (seriously, go try it, it’s amazing).  But I was overwhelmed with options for what to make with it this week.  I finally decided, what better place to start than at the beginning?

I did not grow up eating kale.  In fact, I wasn’t introduced to it until middle or high school.  My aunt and cousin were spending the weekend with us, and my cousin showed up with this curly leafy green stuff and declared that she was going to make some for dinner.  I had never seen it before, and I had really only just started liking the more familiar leafy greens, so I was skeptical at first.

But then my cousin whipped up this amazing dish that combines sautéed kale, garlic, almonds, and dried apricots.  The second I tried it, I was hooked.  The garlic was a nice subtle undertone to the dish, and the sweet dried apricots played so nicely off the bitter kale.  And of course the almonds added a great crunch.  I’m pretty sure my mom and I made it again within the week.  Even if we didn’t recreate it quite that soon, it did remain a favorite.

If you’ve never tried kale before, make this recipe.  It’s quick, healthy, and so delicious.  Want something a little heartier?  Toss this dish with some whole wheat pasta and you’ve got yourself a meal.

Sautéed Kale

Serves 4

1 bunch kale (whichever variety you want, I used the regular, curly-leafed kind)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup blanched and slivered almonds
1/2 cup dried apricots, slivered (make them the same size and shape as the almonds)
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash the kale leaves and remove the tough ribs.  You can either cut them out, or grab the end of the stem with one hand, and run your other hand down the stem firmly, pulling the leaves off as you go.  Rip the leaves into pieces.  It doesn’t have to be pretty, and the pieces don’t have to be as small as bite sized since they’ll shrink as they cook down.

2. Heat the oil in a pot over medium-low heat.  When the oil is hot, toss in the garlic.  About 30 seconds later (you don’t want the garlic to burn), toss in the kale.  If you’re pot doesn’t fit all the kale at once, put in as much as you can, and then add more as it cooks down.  Toss the kale continuously until it’s all cooked down.

3. Once the kale has shrunk, add the slivered dried apricots and toss to combine.  Remove the pot from the heat, and add salt and pepper to your taste.  Toss with the almonds right before serving (to keep them crunchy).  Serve hot or room temperature.


10 Responses to My Love for Kale and How It All Began

  1. @Julie – You should definitely try kale! This recipe is a great place to start because it’s so simple and quick, and also because it plays down the bitterness of kale.

    @Camilla – Thanks!

    @ Maggie – I totally know what you mean! The first time I ventured away from this recipe I hated kale. It was so bitter and gross! You def have to find the right recipes for kale, but when you do, it’s so worth it!

  2. Maggie says:

    Perfect dish! I love kale, but it is a new like for me. My first experience with it was three years ago in our CSA box and I had no clue what to do with it and thought it was awful. Over that winter I collected kale recipes, and come the next summer I fell in love. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  3. I’ve never seen apricots mixed with kale sounds like a great idea

  4. I’ve never seen apricots mixed with kale sounds like a great idea

  5. I’ve never seen apricots mixed with kale sounds like a great idea

  6. I’ve never seen apricots mixed with kale sounds like a great idea

  7. I’ve never seen apricots mixed with kale sounds like a great idea

  8. I have to admit that I’ve never had kale! I read about it on food blogs all the time too! I need to get on it.

  9. Bruce says:

    have you seen the website ? I think you should consider making a submission.

  10. Nava.K says:

    We too eat plenty of kale at home but more of stir fried in Asian style recipe, either with just some crushed garlic or at time added in dried shrimps or anchovies.

    This is a new one for me and sure looks very delicious. I think I will have it just like a salad for a change.

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