Kale seemed to be the darling vegetable of 2012, and its popularity does not seem to be letting up in 2013. Whether cooked in soups or with other vegetables or eaten raw in salads, this is one vegetable that packs a nutritious punch.
For years I wouldn’t even look at kale. I thought it was only used as a garnish in fancy restaurants. Its leaves and surface are so rough, all I could imagine was trying to eat a brillo pad. Until last year I had never even purchased kale. But being a person who does not want to be left out of a good thing, I realized that I owed it to myself ( and the people I cook for) to at least give it a fair chance. So my first endeavor was to put some in a soup, where I would not have to meet it face-to-face. I could tolerate that because it was mixed with the other vegetables, and every thing tasted quite good. My second encounter with kale was not so successful. I made Kale Chips. So many articles and blogs raved about baked kale chips; crispy, a little salty, addictive. Yup, they certainly were—-and I over did it. Unpleasant side effects! Mr. D. had the same reaction, so there has been a lengthy time lapse since that experience.
Where food is concerned, a good picture will get me every time. So when I saw a picture of this dish on My Gourmet Connection of kale sautéed with cabbage, onions, and scallions, I decided to give it one more chance. This time it was a winner. If you are a fan of this leafy green vegetable that becomes soft and silky smooth when cooked, you must give this recipe a trial run.
Because you want to caramelize rather than brown the cabbage in order to develop its natural sweetness, this dish takes a little time to prepare, but I think you will find that the flavor is well worth the extra effort. It is a great side dish that goes with all sorts of entrees.
SAUTEED CABBAGE AND KALE
YIELD: about 4 – 6 servings
- 1 small head of cabbage, chopped or roughly cut
- 1 lb. fresh kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 bunch scallions, ( 4 – 5 ) chopped
- salt and pepper
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and continue cooking just until fragrant, 1 minute longer.
2. Add about 1/3 of the chopped cabbage, season with a pinch of salt and cook until wilted and reduced in bulk. Repeat with the other two batches of cabbage, being sure to season with a bit more salt each time.
3. Continue cooking, stirring often until the cabbage is caramelized and golden in color, 15 to 18 minutes. Add the butter, a few grinds of black pepper, and adjust the salt to taste.
4. Add the kale and continue cooking until it’s wilted and tender, 3 to 4 minutes, then add the scallions and cook until they’re slightly softened, but still bright green.
Transfer to a serving dish.