Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuscan Kale

I don't like picking favorite foods because it isn't fair to name one dish my favorite and ignore the others. For that reason, I won't say that kale is my favorite vegetable, I'll just say that kale is the vegetable that I will miss the most when I leave home. My mama's kale is awesome. Sometimes we have kale in soup or with dried fruit, but my favorite is Tuscan kale cooked with tomatoes and onions. 

How to prepare your kale to be cooked: 
(Note: I like Tuscan kale, the long straight kind, not the crazy curly kind.) 

1. Wash the kale, being careful because if it comes from the farmer's market, there's probably lots of bugs and dirt.

2. Cut the bottom off of each piece of kale. If the center vein seems thick and tough, cut out the bottom part of it like this.

3. Stack the kale in a neat pile, all facing the same way.

4. Roll the pile into a burrito.

5. Slice your burrito into disks. You've created thin, noodle-like strips of kale which are ready to be cooked!

Tuscan Kale with Tomatoes

1 bunch kale, prepared as shown above
a few small cloves of garlic
1/2 an onion, diced
1/2 a can of diced tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes

Put half an inch of water on to boil and steam your kale until it is almost fully cooked. That should take 3-5 minutes, but just taste it to be sure.
While the kale is steaming, put some olive oil in your pan. When it's hot, add the garlic (if you're using it) and onion. When it's getting translucent, add the tomatoes. When the kale is mostly cooked, add it and cook until it is tender. Salt and pepper to taste. 

And remember that kale shrinks when it cooks, so even though your bunch of kale seems large, it won't make much cooked vegetables.

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