Sunday, November 27, 2011

Kale with Lemon-Balsamic Butter

I have to dedicate tonight's recipe to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.  If you enjoy my blog, then you will love Colleen's podcast, Food for Thought.  Colleen is one of the most articulate advocates for animal rights and veganism I've ever come across.  She also happens to be kale's number one spokesperson, routinely touting the nutritional benefits of this dark leafy green.  So it seems only appropriate to give a shout out to her on my blog tonight.

Please check out her website as well as her new book, The 30 Day Vegan Challenge (which I currently have left lying around for my husband...)

And now on to those leafy greens.

  • 4 (1 pound) bunches kale
  • 4 quarts water
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. Remove the stems and tough center ribs from the kale; wash and dry the leaves.  Coarsely chop the kale - you'll wind up with about 24 cups.  Yes, that is a heck of a lot of kale, but don't forget that leafy greens wilt way down when you cook them.

2. Bring the water to a boil in an 8-quart stockpot.  Add the kale; cover and cook for 3 minutes.  Drain, and place the kale in a bowl.

3. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat; once melted, continue to cook for 3 minutes. 

4. Stir in the raisins, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar; cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Pour the butter mixture over the kale.  Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and toss to coat.

Tonight, I served the kale alongside baked potatoes with gravy, roasted acorn squash, and homemade corn bread adapted from this recipe.  Bring crushed red pepper to the table, and invite people to sprinkle some over their kale if they prefer spicier food.

Nutrition Info:
10 servings (about 1 cup), Calories 151 

Tasting Notes:
A tasty way to eat kale, and easy enough to become a standard in your home (although I recommend making only a third the amount called for if you're not feeding a crowd).  I couldn't decide if there was too much balsamic or just enough; next time I would decrease the balsamic slightly and increase the butter.  The raisins were a delicious sweet addition.  Note that your serving size may vary depending how long you cook the kale - anywhere from closer to 1 cup per serving if you give the leaves just a minute or two in the boiling water, and closer to 1/4 cup if you wilt the kale way down.


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