When it comes to leafy greens, kale has always fallen into the "should" category for me. By this I mean, I eat kale because I should eat it, but I never really find myself saying, "Gee, I could sure go for a big bowl of kale tonight."
However, as part of my quest to eat healthier and get into great shape, I've redoubled my efforts to eat a wide array of nutritious veggies and recently I've developed a greater appreciation for this powerhouse green (which is actually a type of wild cabbage). In addition to discovering some great kale recipes in my new cookbooks, I've been experimenting with a few of my own.
My favorite of these recipes came into being the other night, when we realized that we'd forgotten to take some fish out of the freezer to thaw for that night's dinner and were forced to get a little creative. After a bit of rummaging around, it was determined that we were in possession of a large amount of kale and some leftover soba noodles. Thus, Garlic Sesame Kale (sautéed and served over soba noodles) was born.
I really like how kale holds up to heat. Other cooked greens (I'm looking at you spinach) can be a little bit too mushy for my taste, but kale proudly holds its ground and retains a satisfying crunch even when cooked for a long time (in soups or slow cookers, for example).
Happily, this recipe doesn't require a long cooking time. In fact, the whole operation took about ten minutes from prep to service. (Do you like my super official cooking lingo? I learned it from Top Chef.) It's healthy, delicious and super versatile. You could use it in any kind of pasta dish, layer it into a veggie lasagna, or even use it to top off a cheese pizza.
As I mentioned, we put it over soba noodles, along with some cubed tofu. We also had a little extra Otsu sauce on hand, which I drizzled over the top. Check out that garlic action...mmm.
Garlic Sesame Kale (serves 2, with leftovers)
2 bunches kale, trimmed and chopped
3 tsp. toasted sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. brown rice miso paste (Westbrae makes a good one)
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. sesame seeds (optional)
Sea salt to taste
Heat toasted sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for a couple minutes. Add kale and cook until just slightly wilted, stirring gently. Reduce heat to low and stir in lemon juice, salt, and miso paste. (You don't want to get miso paste too hot because it will destroy its beneficial enzymes.) Remove from heat and toss with sesame seeds.
How do you eat your kale? I would love if you would share your recipes!
Photos by moi.