Shredded Kale Salad with Tamari and Sesame

This is a quick and tasty side dish or snack. It’s also delicious the next day, just take it out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. You could probably try using Chard or any other hearty leafy green. I found this recipe in Marie Simmons’ Fresh & Fast Vegetarian cookbook (highly recommended).

1 small bunch (about 10 oz.) kale, washed and dried
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons tamari, soy sauce, or liquid aminos
2 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon (or more to taste) grated fresh ginger
1-3 garlic cloves (depending on your love for strong garlic flavor), grated
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

Cut along both sides of the Kale stem and discard stems.
Pile several leaves of Kale and slice into thin (1/8 inch) crosswise slices, resulting in 4 to 6 lightly packed cups.
Combine the rice vinegar, tamari, oil, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic in a large bowl.
Add Kale to the bowl and rub the dressing using your hands to massage it into the Kale until it starts to wilt (1 to 2 minutes).
Add the carrot, onion, and sesame seeds and toss with a fork.
Serve at room temperature.

Serves 4 

Kale and Basil Pesto

One way to make a larger quantity of pesto is by including other greens, which also ups the nutritional value.  This recipe includes Kale, but you could try broccoli or another leafy green such as spinach.  If you don’t have walnuts or pine nuts, unsalted roasted peanuts are a budget friendly alternative.  Tip: you can make the pesto and put in the freezer in ice cube trays.  Once the pesto is frozen, pop the cubes into a freezer bag and keep in the freezer for use.

1/2 bunch fresh kale or spinach greens (6-8 ounces before removing hard stems).  Approximately 4-6 oz broccoli or spinach may be substituted.
1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
4 garlic scapes, sliced (optional)
2-4 garlic cloves (depending on your love of garlic and use of garlic scapes)
2/3 cup toasted walnuts (pine nuts or unsalted peanuts may be used – add less salt if using salted peanuts)
3/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper or more to taste
1/3-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (use enough for the consistency you prefer)
12-16 ounces pasta of choice  (depending on your sauce to pasta ratio preference)
1/2 cup reserved liquid from cooking pasta
1/4 pound Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

Rinse and dry the greens well. Remove the thick stems from the Kale or Broccoli and coarsely chop remaining leaves or broccoli.
Pulse garlic in a food processor until chopped.
Add nuts, salt, pepper and about a third of the greens (kale, basil, and garlic scapes).
Pulse, adding remaining greens in batches until finely chopped.
With food processor running, slowly add oil to your desired consistency.  Set prepared pesto aside.
Cook pasta and reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid prior to draining cooked pasta.
Turn off stove, drain pasta and return the hot pan to the stove.
Pour a little (about 1/8 cup) of the reserved cooking liquid into the hot pan and return the hot pasta to the pan.
Toss the pasta with prepared pesto and grated cheese, thinning with reserved liquid as needed.
Note: the heat from the pasta and pan should heat the pesto without turning the stove back on.

Kale & Cranberry Bean Soup with Tomato-Garlic Toast

This is based on a Bobby Flay recipe. Cranberry beans work well, but if you have difficulty finding them, try a different dried bean. Kale is a wonderful addition to soup.

  • 1/2 pound Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 large onion, coarsley chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1/2 pound kale, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups cranberry beans, soaked overnight

Brown chorizo in a medium saucepan over high heat.
Drain chorizo, reserving 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat. 
Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery to the fat and cook until soft.
Add kale and cook until slightly wilted.
Add wine and chicken stock and simmer.
Add beans and chorizo and simmer until the beans are soft, about 1 hour. Serve with the toast, recipe follows.
Serves 6 to 8.

Oven Dried Tomato Toast

  • 3 plum tomatoes, sliced 1/8-inch thick horizontally
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 12 slices of French baguette, sliced 1/3-inch thick.
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Place sliced tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 6 to 8 hours or until the tomatoes are dried. Set tomatoes aside.
Heat oil in a small saucepan over low heat.
Add garlic, remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes.
Increase the heat in the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush the bread on both sides with the garlic oil.
Place a slice of tomato on each piece of bread.
Sprinkle with salt & pepper and the oregano.
Bake in the oven for 5 to10 minutes, until the bread is lightly golden brown.

Creamed Kale

●2 pounds coarsely torn kale
●3 tablespoons unsalted butter
●3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
●3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
●3 cups milk, scalded
●¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
●Salt and freshly ground pepper
● 3 caramelized Shallots, recipe follows

Heat the butter in a medium sized saucepan.
Add onions and simmer until soft. 
Stir in the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Do not allow mixture to brown.
Whisk in the warm milk. Simmer until thickened.
Season with nutmeg and salt and pepper.
Keep warm until ready to use.
Steam kale until tender, 5 to 10 minutes.
Drain kale and squeeze out extra moisture. Return to saucepan.
Add cream sauce and simmer another 2 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Top with caramelized shallots (recipe follows).

Caramelized Shallots:

●6 tablespoons unsalted butter
●2 tablespoons sugar
●10 shallots, peeled and sliced, or 40 baby onions, peeled
●Salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt the butter and sugar in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper.
Cook until they begin to brown all over, about 10 minutes.

Kale with Sesame and Ginger

The earthy taste of the kale blends perfectly with the sesame and ginger.

●2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
●1 tablespoon ginger – peeled and minced
●1 bunch kale
●3 cloves minced garlic
●1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

Tear kale into coarse sized pieces.
In a large covered skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of sesame oil on medium heat.
Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Do not brown.
Add ginger and  sauté for another  minute. Do not brown.
Remove ginger and garlic from skillet. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in the skillet.
Add the torn kale.
Mix to coat the kale with the oil.
Cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until kale is wilted.
Remove cover and let cook a minute more to evaporate any excess moisture released by the kale. Remove from heat.
Combine the kale with the reserved garlic and ginger.
Add more sesame oil to taste.
Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
Serves 4.

Sautéed Kale

Smoked paprika is my new favorite spice.

●1 pound fresh kale leaves – coarsely torn
●2 tablespoon olive oil
●1 medium onion – chopped
●½ teaspoon smoked paprika
●Pinch of dried crushed red pepper

Wilt kale in boiling salted water. Drain and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat.
Sauté chopped onion until translucent.
Add kale, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper to the onions.
Sauté for several more minutes.
Sprinkle with additional salt and smoked paprika to taste.
Serves 4.

Favorite Dark Leafy Greens

This is a great introduction to eating leafy greens – kale, collards, mustard, turnip, dandelion, etc.   (It’s how I became hooked on kale.) The spices take the bitter edge off the greens. You can increase the coriander or add yogurt also. The recipe is from The Ayurvedic Cookbook, by Amadea Morningstar (Lotus Press).

1 bunch dark leafy greens
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon sunflower oil or ghee (or your favorite oil)
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander powder

Wash the greens and chop them, removing the stem in the process.
Bring the water to a boil in a large skillet (frying pan).
Put the greens in, cover, and lower the heat to simmer.
Cook on low heat for 7 to 15 minutes or until greens are tender.

Heat oil in a small pan over low heat.
Add cumin seeds.
When the seeds begin to brown, stir in the coriander.
Brown, do not burn.
Pour this mixture over the drained greens, mixing well.

Serve immediately.

Other Information
Prep time: 10 to 20 minutes
Serves: 2-4
Nutrition info: Cooked greens are rich in vitamins A and B complex, iron, magnesium, calcium
Spices: Cumin seeds are NOT spicy-hot; they are very mild and nutty in flavor. Coriander adds a light lemon taste.