When I don't know what to cook, I just heat up some olive oil in the Le Creuset, prep some garlic, and throw it in there - on low heat to allow me time to think before it burns. [Tip: You may be in a relationship with a non-food person if the smell of garlic/olive oil/onions leads to "what stinks in here?" versus "wow something smells good!"] Even if I don't know what I'm doing yet, the ritual of prepping garlic is comforting: peel skin, cut off hard ends, slice into slivers, slice cross-wise again - and off it goes into the olive oil. I figure inspiration will come eventually.
When inspiration comes though it helps to have a nicely stocked fridge. I was out of haricots verts. And no meaty portobellos. What to do. Ah - yes. Plenty of kale still from the first round of kale chips. Why not throw some of that nice bright green organic kale in there? And so I did.
Sea salt, freshly ground pepper added.
Meanwhile, I had a thin wedge of wild salmon searing nearby on another burner.
A matter of taste how well done you want the kale. I like to keep it a pretty color of green, but just softened up and nicely heated through with tasty garlic olive oil.
Before you know it, it's all done, and in about the time it took to peel and chop the garlic cloves (I like about 3 cloves of garlic).
1. Load up a white plate with the beautiful steaming hot garlicky kale.
2. Place salmon on top.
Seriously, no more than 12 minutes start to finish on this. Even taking into account some short defrosting time on the salmon, this is no more time-intensive than fixing Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
So enamoured of kale now - the texture (those cute ruffly leaves), the healthy sound of it, the color once it starts to cook down - I'm thinking about serving it up for the Reveillon, my Christmas Eve "feast." Though I don't think I can get much better than the garlic and olive oil for simple and healthy, I'm looking around for more recipes. There are plenty. Kale is new in the rotation for me, to get out of the cruciferous vegetable rut, but nothing new at all to most of the rest of the civilized food world.
Here are some of the recipes on my list to change up the kale recipe rut I suspect I already am in:
Kale Pesto - from A Cozy Kitchen blog (love the pistachios in the recipe)
Sauteed Kale - from Anne Burrell (like the chili flakes and touch of chicken stock there at end)
Crispy Kale Chips - Melissa d'Arabian (nothing here but kale, olive oil, salt)
Krispy Tuscan Kale - Anne Burrell (lower temperature than Melissa's recipe, longer time, adds chili flakes)
Kale Chips - from the adorable can't-get-enough-of-each-other food couple Pat and Gina Neely (brown sugar sprinkled over the finished chips...cannot endorse this as appropriate per newfound (fleeting) self-righteousness during The Cleanse but must explore eventually in the interest of science...maybe the kids would like it?)
And there are more out there. BBQ kale chips, Crispy Kale Chips with Lemon...kale is really everywhere it seems now that it's on my food radar. I would not be surprised if some food startup entrepreneur was already experimenting with how to mass produce kale chips as a snack food. Or maybe that's something to add to my to-do list.