Braised Kale: Page 314, Aloha Days Hula Nights

In our house, we love kale because it is so healthy, flavorful, and versatile.  We’re always looking for new ways to cook it up, so when I brought some home this week, I pounced on the Braised Kale recipe on page 314 of Aloha Days Hula Nights in the Vegetables – Greens/Kale section, and I was not disappointed – it was earthy, delicious, and rich.

With the mushrooms and potatoes, this hearty dish could easily be a vegetarian entree, and it certainly stole the show from the simple sautéed salmon we ate with it.  The kale was the star, but all the components added layers of flavor that made you need a second bite immediately to take it all in. Our kale came with red cabbage and carrots already mixed in, so I left out the potatoes; I also substituted meaty portobello mushrooms, which were delicious.  Definitely an excellent side dish – and it may be making its center-stage debut at a vegetarian dinner in the near future.

Side note:  Braising typically involves first searing the food (usually meat) at high heat to caramelize and seal in flavor, followed by simmering the food in its own juices to tenderize it.  My mushrooms, shallots, and garlic did not produce enough juice to braise them or the kale, so I poured in some beef stock before adding the kale.  Be sure the pan is not dry when you put the kale in, or you’ll miss out on the “braised” aspect of the dish – any stock will do (including veggie stock).

Our kale had bits of red cabbage and carrots mixed in – such a colorful & easy side dish!

Braised Kale

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium shallots, minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound kale, thinly sliced

Place potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook just until tender, 15 to 18 minutes.  Drain.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add mushrooms, shallots, and garlic.  Cook, stirring often until tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add kale to skillet, continue to cook, stirring often, until kale is bright green, about 5 minutes.  Add potatoes, heat through, and serve warm.

Serves 4 to 6.

Buy the cookbook at www.juniorleagueofhonolulu.org (click the eStore tab).  All proceeds go to support our charitable work in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

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