Do you ever walk through the produce aisle with a list of vegetables that you have planned out for your weekly menu and realize that the selection that week for broccoli or green beans or avacado is just not up to your standard? This happened to me last week when I was looking for a good vegetable accompaniment to the pork tenderloin dish we were having. The green beans at this particular grocery store (not my normal one, but I had coupons for this other store that day) were dry, wrinkled and sad looking. I just couldn’t bring myself to buy them and wanted some fresh veggies for the week, we were already having frozen peas another night. Across from the green beans there was a big beautiful bunch of fresh Kale, it called to me. I scooped it up, not entirely sure how I would cook it, it’s not one of my normal arsenal of veggies (although now I am not sure why not).
When I got home I trimmed the Kale, removing the rib from the center of the leaf and cutting away any dried up or brown pieces of leaves. Then I soaked them in a ice water bath in the sink to let any remaining silt drop to the bottom while the leaves float on top. Then I cut them into strips, half a leaf wide (since de-ribbing them pretty much cut it in half) and 1/2 inch strips. Meanwhile I had decided to saute the Kale in a skillet, quick and simple. I used scissors to cut 2 pieces of center cut bacon (lots of flavor, but less fat) into the pan along with some diced onions (about 1/4 of an onion). After the bacon began to render and crisp up a bit, I added a clove of garlic, minced. The Kale will look like it won’t all fit in to the pan, but just add a little and put a lid on the pan and let it wilt down. Keep doing this until it is all in there. I was using a medium saute pan with shallow sides and was easily able to fit a large bunch of Kale in to the pan. Stir the kale so that it doesn’t brown too much on any side. Once it looks like most of the moisture is gone and everything is getting acquainted in the pan its time to deglaze. I chose some dry white wine I had in the fridge, but chicken stock would work well too. Use just enough to simmer and steam the Kale without drowning it, between 1/4 and 1/2 cup. I let this cook for about 15 minutes on low because the rest of dinner was still cooking. Right before pulling it off the heat I added a little salt, black pepper and a dash of red wine vinegar. It was delicious! My husband and I ate the whole bunch easily and would have eaten more!