Do you ever just want to cheer from the rooftops? Maybe let out a loud whoop? Or perhaps jump on Oprah’s couch … oh wait, that’s just Tom Cruise. Anyway, even if you aren’t couch jumping, everyone feels like this sometimes … where something thrills you so much that you just want to tell everyone. Right. Away.
That’s totally how I feel about this kale dish. And yes, I am being absolutely serious.
Although the kale is braised, it retains that texture that makes it so special. It’s softened, but still definitely leaves. In fact, that’s one of the things I love about kale and chard: they don’t turn to mush when cooked. It’s that mushiness that makes spinach and I have a tenuous relationship.
In any case, this is dinosaur kale … aka Tuscan kale. The leaves are sweeter than other varieties of kale, and milder in flavor. They are delicious when used raw, but also good for cooking.
This kale is a little sweet, but totally savory. And the lemon and Romano finish make it simply spectacular.
And perhaps the best, bestest, best part? This is local kale. I dropped by my cousin’s organic farm earlier and bought this, chard and scallions — my first local food of the season. There is nothing like it. And I couldn’t be more thrilled that the local season is here at long last.
Have your farmers markets opened yet? Are they open year-round?
Braised Dinosaur Kale with Shallots, Lemon and Romano
- olive oil spray
- 1 medium shallot , finely diced
- 1 bunch dinosaur kale (aka Tuscan kale), stems removed
- salt and pepper , to taste
- 1 cup no added salt chicken stock (I prefer Kitchen Basics)
- 1 lemon , cut into quarters
- freshly grated Romano cheese
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spray with olive oil cooking spray. Then, add the shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally until just beginning to brown (about 3-4 minutes).
- While the shallot is cooking, rinse the kale under cool water and dry in a salad spinner device. Transfer to a cutting board and loosely chop it (you want big pieces).
- Add the kale to the skillet and toss well to mix with the shallots. Continue tossing and cooking until the kale begins to wilt slightly.
- Lower the burner to medium-low heat and add the chicken stock, salt and pepper. Mix well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir. Then, remove the lid to the pan and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, until the liquid evaporates.
- Serve hot or cold with lemon wedges and Romano cheese for sprinkling.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. Her latest cookbook is The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook, published by Rockridge Press, which focuses on quick, easy, from-scratch cooking for busy people. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.