Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Friday, August 12

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Regional Distilleries Shine at WhiskyFest Cheese, Please »

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!

GB store

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 ...

GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

GB store



Drive-Thru on Flickr

Join the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

About Drive-Thru

Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Robyn Nisi,
Drive-Thru staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15