I love kale and use it often in soups. I finally decided to try it on its own, incorporating an Italian cooking method used for many greens that is a cross between a sauté and a braise, and it has become a favorite. This recipe is a quick, easy, healthy and delicious side dish.
- 2 pounds kale, stems discarded, leaves rinsed, drained well and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 large cloves garlic, sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
- Water as needed
- Crushed red pepper flakes (optional, see notes below)
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the kale and toss well. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and vinegar. Add just enough water to moisten the bottom of the pan. Cover, reduce to medium, and cook until desired tenderness, about 10 minutes, adding more water if needed. Remove lid, and cook over high heat until any excess moisture is removed. Serve immediately, or keep warm over very low heat.
Notes: Kale shrinks as it cooks. The pan will be very full at first but, as the kale wilts, toss it so the bottom comes to the top, and you will have plenty of room. Also, because it cooks down, be cautious about the amount of salt to start. You can always add more later. The same is true of the water. As noted, the crushed red pepper flakes are optional. If everyone likes a liitle heat, add them with the garlic. Otherwise, pass them when serving so everyone can decide how much, if any, to use. Cider vinegar is a good option if you prefer it to the balsamic or red wine vinegar.