F(l)avorite Things are posts where we talk about, well, our favorite, flavorful things. Here, Kate talks about how much she loves kale.
I know, I know, kale is all the rage now. I’ve been digging it for (like two) years now. Quietly. Without fanfare. Just me and my love of kale. And then just this past month, my favorite food (porn) blog smitten kitchen (I love you Deb), writes a post on kale “chips.” Now it seems to be on restaurant menus all over the city and on blogs all over the internet. Although I feel like that dork who insists they were into that famous band back before they were cool, kale and I go way back.
Here’s why: Aside from being really good for you, kale is friggin’ delicious. I’ve gone through different phases of preparation: Steamed (it’s okay), sautéed with plenty of oil and garlic (better), but currently I’m into oven roasting it.
Kale has a hearty, chewy texture, and an earthy, nutty flavor that really comes out when when roasted (read, spread out on a baking sheet with a little bit of olive oil and salt and thrown into the oven while you check facebook). And so easy. This is what I do:
- Get some really good stuff at the farmer’s market (okay, I’ve gotten it at C-Town too, and it’s almost as good), come home hungry,
- crank up the oven (how hot– I don’t even pay attention anymore– it always comes out delicious; when I begin to smell it I know it’s almost done). The higher the temp (350-450), the more crispy and nutty it will be, a little cooler (250-300) and it takes on a steamed/sautéed quality– also delicious.
- Put on your comfy pants while the oven is heating up, and then
- rinse the kale and cut it up some (rip off the thickest part of the stems while you’re at it),
- throw it all on a baking sheet (preferably a parchment paper-covered baking sheet so you don’t have to wash it), drizzle on a tablespoon or two of olive oil and a generous sprinkle of kosher salt, toss to coat, and pop it in the oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on how hungry you are, how well done you want it, and how hot your oven is.
- Chow down. And don’t feel bad about having seconds (and thirds). It’s good for you.
Often I’ll just eat it alone as a snack. Sometimes I’ll have it with my eggs in the morning. Tonight I put it with whole wheat pasta (virtuous sounding yes, but last night I ate about three pounds of white flour in the form of Motorino’s pizza and washed it down with an ungodly amount of beer), and extra drizzle of olive oil, some Parmesan cheese, another sprinkle of salt, and called it dinner. Boring? A little. Easy? Hell yeah. Fast? Fifteen minutes from comfy pants to “Amazing Race” with a big bowl of kale n’ pasta in front of me. But that’s just one way to do kale. Tell me how you like it.