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Recipe Fri Apr 03 2009

Holy Kale!

Each year of my life I have come to appreciate and incorporate new foods into my diet. This past year my two most appreciated new foods have probably been brussel sprouts and KALE! I love kale, and you should too.

Kale lends itself to many culinary creations. Some that I have experimented with include kale, sweet potato and red pepper frittata; kale with olives and Romano cheese; kale sautéed in olive oil with lemon, garlic and salt; kale peanut stew... Any Internet search of kale recipes is guaranteed to provide abundant inspiration. Recipe searching is one of my favorite break time activities at work. Yesterday, in between data analyses and e-mail bantering, I discovered "Sweet Pepper Pasta Toss with Kale".

Modifications I made included the following. I probably quadrupled the amount of kale that the recipe called for. Greens are deceptive. If you only use a cup of fresh kale, you may be left with a tablespoon in your finished product. Don't be afraid of stuffing the pan full--they will cook down (putting a lid on the pan aids in the process). I also increased the amount of all spices. I find that a pinch is never enough. Finally, I did not have feta cheese or farfalle pasta in the kitchen. Missing ingredients do not mean one must drop the recipe. Instead, I used whole-wheat penne giving the dish a heartier feel. In the place of feta, I used goat cheese, which melted nicely into the veggies creating a creamier consistency. This meal could also easily be done cheese-less for any vegan or cholesterol conscious person. As a finishing touch I drizzled half of a lemon into the mixture giving a nice balance to the cayenne pepper. The meal only took an hour from start to finish (including washing the dishes).

Pictures were taken, but unfortunately the low-quality camera I bought in China does not do it justice. The bright green kale, red and yellow peppers, white pockets of goat cheese and whole wheat pasta mixed in a bright blue bowl not only enticed the taste buds, but also the eyes. Good food is art. And art need not be complicated. This meal is simple, beautiful and delicious. Look out for kale at farmers and produce markets and create some art!


BreukelenMeisje / April 3, 2009 6:33 PM

Kale and brussel sprouts are tasty, indeed. Sucks to my mother's assmar for not introducing them to me as a child!! In any event, Kale is great in hearty veggie soups, and in addition to combining it with feta or goat cheese, as you mention, ricotta salata is also a tasty choice. It's also a great alternative to spinach, and can be sauteed with garlic and substituted for any other dark leafy green. It's also not bitter, so I prefer it to, say, collards. Finally, kale also allows for a great boost of iron for times when we vegetarians and vegans are fading, fading ...

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A Garden Party at Rick Bayless' House

By Judy Wu

I was using Rick Bayless' restroom, I mused, staring up at the ceiling window that was projecting a heavenly beacon of light upon my less-than-angelic duties. I could barely distinguish Rick's faint murmurs through the orange walls, something about how...
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