Red Russian and Lacinato kale growing under cover.
Much as I enjoy kale, having masses of it all at once can be daunting. Its unruly leaves can take up a lot of refrigerator real estate. One way of taming it is to grab the whole lot and make a big batch of “Slow-Cooked Kale with Stewed Garlic.” This recipe from Andrea Reusing’s book, Cooking in the Moment, teases out the inherent richness of kale, rendering it both ready to use and subdued into a more easily stored form.
This garlicky kale dish accompanied a dinner of sauteed chorizo sausage, onions and red peppers, and roasted slices of delicata squash from the garden. For brunch the next morning, we toasted up thick planks of potato ciabatta in olive oil, and piled it with more of the kale and a hearty fried egg. There’s just enough slow-cooked kale left to make Reusing’s “Kale Panini,” something to look forward to having later in the week.
Slow-Cooked Kale with Stewed Garlic
2 bunches (about 1 pound) kale, stems removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste
3 long strips of lemon zest
– Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over heat. Salt it generously, add the kale, and blanch for 1 minute. Drain immediately and squeeze out excess water.
– Return the pot to the stove over low heat; add olive oil and garlic, season with a pinch of salt, and cook gently for 3 to 5 minutes, until the garlic is soft but not browed. Add the red pepper flakes and let it cook slightly before adding the kale and lemon zest. Season with another pinch of salt.
– Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occassionally and adding a splash of water as needed to keep it slightly moist while cooking. When tender, remove from heat. Serve immediately or let cool and store in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from “Cooking in the Moment” by Andrea Reusing.