Monday, January 30, 2012

Good bye Kale Recipe

Good-Bye Kale Recipe

For a meal we served to guests the other night, I thought that a good send off to our friend would be ease off of the all kale diet by using up the scraps of kale left over from dinners gone by. So I took some beans we got from our grain share, pinto's and cooked them with a bit of olive oil, some left over stock from beets, water and bay leaf. When the beans were nice and soft, I added some ribbons of crispy kale to give it some color and veggie-ness. The marriage of kale and legume was complete in this simple and surprising delicious dish. A legume is basically, a round dried thing that is good for you, not much different than an leafy thing that is good for you together to make for a satisfying meal. Other legumes are clover, lentils, peanuts.

Good-Bye Kale Recipe
Beans with Good-Bye Kale Month kale.

1 half bunch left over kale from Kale Month
2 cups pinto beans
Olive Oil
1-large onion, sliced medium thin

Soak beans over night. Drain, cook until tender with good amounts of olive oil and salt. IF YOU HAVE IT, add a parmesan rind and some fresh herbs. About 45 minutes. Saute onion in oil. De-rib, roll and slice kale into ribbons. Add to onion and cook until crispy. Remove from heat and stir into beans. Add olive oil, salt and pepper with a dash of vinegar or wine, if desired.

This is the last of the kale recipes. February is chicken month, including eggs. Stay tuned!

Recipe: Restaurant Kale Part 2 - Deconstructed Kale

Kale, De-constructed

I love restaurant week in New York because the portions are so small. You go, the place is great, the food famous, the reservation, hard to get. Then you eat and the food is so scant, in such small amounts, that you have to focus on every bite.

That was my experience a couple of weeks ago in at Promenade des Angeleis, on 23rd and 10th. We got there, had to take a cab, rain, and so on. Inside it is early still, only 7:30 and the place is dead. Then our friends show up and speculations are made, newspaper articles referred to and so eventually the food comes, we get soup and a terrine and a fish dish with tiny anchovies and from the regular menu, brandade on crostini...the rest I don't remember but I do remember the kale and during restaurant week, kale is the one dish you get a decent portion of.

Before deconstructing the kale salad, I become painfully aware of the waitstaff. When we are served our first course and then our main course, all of these waiters converge on us at once. It must have something to do with the way they run the place. It seems as if the entire staff has staged an intervention of food and each us is served, by a separate person, simultaneously. It is like we are a car and they are the pit crew. Or we are a foodie mosh pit.

This particular kale dish was ripped leaves, massaged in oil with strips of good prosciutto, the thinnest slice of button mushroom, really not even worth mentioning or even including in the dish but then shaving of parmesean, quite an outstanding delicious bit of parm, and all in a vinaigrette along with unnecessary pomegranate seeds. It was the best kale salad I have ever had and I must say it is because of the quality of the prosciutto, olive oil and cheese -- mushroom, pomegranate seeds notwithstanding. 

Such is restaurant week. Regular people go to expensive restaurants where they get a little window of luxury. Kale really shines in this context where trend and abundance meet in a perfect storm. Kale is cheap. It grows in snow. No one yet has the nerve or has figured out how to make kale expensive so it is one dish at restaurant week that you get a lot of.

Recipe: Whole Foods Kale Kugel

Mushroom Noodle Kugel, courtesy of Whole Foods Market in Hadley 

This comes recommended by a friend, Sarah Kanabay at Whole Foods in Hadley. She refers to kale as the 'poster child leafy green' which probably is why we love it so. 

This recipe for a dish called Kale and Mushroom Noodle Kugel is as comforting as comfort food can get. I think that I might agree with one individual who commented about the dish that the substitution of ricotta for cottage cheese is a good one. As one individual commented on the store's website, ricotta might suffice rather than cottage cheese, to which I agree. 

ALL of these ingredients can be local. If you are a real purist, egg noodles and the ricotta itself can be made at home with local ingredients. I have not yet tried this but will do so once I can figure out how to make noodles. This recipe features quite a few Whole Foods ingredients which can be substituted, of course. Where is the fun in cooking if you don't get to substitute?

Serves 8

This hearty dish features mushrooms, kale and egg noodles, bound with cottage cheese and sour cream for richness. Use a variety of mushrooms in place of the button mushrooms, if you like.


2 tablespoons 365 Everyday Value Unsalted Butter, plus more for buttering
1 (16-ounce) package 365 Everyday Value Wide Enriched Egg Noodles
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 lb white/button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
1 bunch kale (about 3/4 pound), stemmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups low-fat cottage cheese
3/4 cup 365 Everyday Value Organic Low Fat Sour Cream


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9- x 13-inch dish; set aside. Cook noodles in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain, rinse and drain again; transfer to a large bowl. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add mushrooms, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until mushrooms are very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in kale and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes; add thyme. Add to noodles, toss and set aside. Whisk together eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream and remaining salt. Fold into noodles. Transfer to prepared dish, press down gently, cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes more. Serve warm or room temperature.


Per serving: 360 calories (90 from fat), 10g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 170mg cholesterol, 520mg sodium, 52g total carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 6g sugar), 19g protein

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