It was been a tough week for kale. First Miss Sherri reveals that KPS (Kale Protective Services) needs to be alerted to wrest custody of the wilted bunch confined to her fridge. Next the NYT prints an essay on one man’s despise for both kale and the farm from which it came. Finally, while shopping at the Boatfarm, I overhear a crunchy hipster express his disdain for this leafy wonder. Yes the BOATFARM! Is there anything more perfect for the Northwest than a farmer’s market off of a boat?
Back to kale. You know the usual “why you should eat it.” Fabulous numbers of vitamins, fiber and anti-oxidants. blah blah blah. Let’s talk about why our bodies NEED it. If you consider the evolution of the omnivorous mammal, you find that LEAVES are an important part of its diet, from rodents to raccoons to bears to monkeys to hunter/gathering humanoids. What did they eat and gather? Leaves, roots and berries. Thus one could argue that our bodies are not just designed to survive on leaves, but need the nutrients in leaves to balance out the other parts of our omnivorous diet. “Why do I need to eat my Kale???” Because your ancestors did honey!
First, pick a pretty bunch at your market/greengrocer/farm. There is no reason to start with veggies that are not pleasing to the eye-you will WANT to make them tasty because you can’t STAND the guilt of letting them mold in your fridge.
Next, cut off the stems and send them to the compost. We’ll get the the more advanced stem cooking later-after you’ve mastered basic kale. Next, chop the kale in graduated size strips. It is key to make the stem sides smaller than the leaf sides to get even cooking.
Then, prepare the two secret ingredients, bacon and garlic. BACON says the cardiologist???? Yes, one slice is a mere 50 calories with 4grams of fat. Spread out over four servings, is a small price for the goodness of greens. Add kale and cook to reduce some of its bitterness without depleting its bountiful nutrients.
Repeat after me: bacon, garlic, kale, YUMMY!
be kind to kale
Prep Time: 10 minutes (washing/cutting)
Cook Time: 20 minutes (not all active)
1 bunch pretty kale
1 slice bacon
2 whole garlic cloves
1/2 c chicken stock
Wash the kale and remove stems. Slice leaves into strips across the leaf. Chop the bacon into cubes and saute until fat is starting to crisp. Smash garlic, but do not chop it and add it to the bacon; saute until you smell aroma of garlic; the cloves should have a just a hint of golden brown.
Add the kale all at once and stir around to coat with bacon garlic goodness. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock and bring to simmer. Scrape up the goodies on the bottom of the pan, stir into all into the kale then cover and cook on low for at least 20 min. Do not be fooled by the fact that it looks done at 10 min-it will still be a bit bitter unless you cook it all the way!
recipe by your friends at crunchtimefood.com