When we met with our friends at the state park yesterday, one girlfriend turned to me with a big grin and two even bigger bags full of kale, gifted to us fresh from their (no pesticide) square foot garden. My eyes popped - "That's like, $6-$10 worth of kale!" I made note that I must milk this girl for her gardening tips; yesterday we talked a bit about how I can get a compost pile started.
I've always wanted to grow some vegetables of my own, but the dying plants by my kitchen sink testify to the remoteness of that possibility. I'm still thinking of giving it a good go next planting season, though, so clearly this friend's wisdom could come heavily into play.
Anywhoo, wanting to get out of my fresh kale salad rut, I decided to saute a bunch today when we had company for lunch - my first go at sauteeing kale. It turned out really well - I'll definitely make again.
Sauteed Kale with Bacon and Mushrooms
Serves 6-8, as a side
6 cups fresh curly kale, cut into ~1"x2" sections (I use kitchen shears for a shortcut)
1/2 stick butter (or 4 tablespoons sauteeing oil of choice)
2 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1 tub sliced mushrooms
1 large yellow onion, sliced into 1" pieces
2 handfuls bacon pieces, or 6 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Splash of balsamic vinegar
In a large pan, melt butter at medium-high heat. Sautee mushrooms, onions, and garlic for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent and browning. Add molasses and bacon pieces to the pan and stir to combine with onions and mushrooms, sauteeing an additional 1-2 minutes. Add fresh kale and chicken broth, and cook until kale is fully wilted, about 4 minutes. (Kale is a little tougher than most greens and may take just a bit longer to wilt before it's tender.) Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, stir briefly, and serve hot.