If you do crossword puzzles, you must be aware that both “kale” and “cabbage” are synonyms for money. Were I a sportscaster, I would now make a forced segue into the bountiful riches that either of these two veggies will add to your holiday table. But, lucky all of us, I ain’t. Nonetheless, sauteed kale does indeed add a touch of grace to any feast. The fact that it couldn’t be simpler for a harried cook makes it that much better.

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sauteed kale, shredded and ready for the pan

Sauteed kale epitomizes simplicity. Simply stem your kale, then shred it by slicing it thin. Heat your oil; as usual, olive (not extra virgin, just the regular stuff) or grapeseed work wonderfully. I personally love coconut oil for sauteed kale; the flavors complement each other in their mutual robustness. And for true kale nirvana—vegetarian and vegan readers, please forgive me—kale loves pork. Cooking bacon til crisp, then using the rendered fat to cook the kale and sprinkling the crunchy bacon bits on top: it’s a surefire way to convert those unfortunates who suspect vegetables of ruining all their fun.

The kale should be cooked over medium high heat until it’s well-coated in the fat. A sprinkle of salt and a flash of cayenne—maybe with a little nutmeg—suffices in the spice department. When the kale’s cooked down from an overstuffed pan to a manageable one, sprinkle in chopped garlic. This pic shows how much the kale decreases in volume—and how much the color deepens.

sauteed kale before and after cooking

Then pour in a little broth; homemade is of course wonderful, but any will do. Know your broth well, and taste accordingly. In the upcoming video, I didn’t add any salt, because I hadn’t used this particular broth before. As always, a judicious hand with the NaCl is a good thing. Roasted cranberries or fresh pomegranate seeds popping through the leaves may even elicit a gasp or two at the beauty you have achieved.

sauteed kale, with just a hint of garlic and nutmeg

Of course, there are nearly limitless add-ins. You could sauté sliced onions, leeks, or shallots and bell peppers in the fat prior to adding the kale. Minced ginger and five-spice powder will take your sauteed kale in a decidedly Chinese direction. A light snowfall of toasted coconut at the end, especially if you used coconut oil as your sauté medium, will transport you to some lush Caribbean paradise. It’s up to you. Just know that a big old plate of sauteed kale adds vitamins, fiber, and wholesome earthiness to your fatty, decadent groaning board. And as far as leftovers go, chopped sauteed kale mixed in with mashed potatoes or added to your morning after frittata is more awesomeness.

For more on kale, visit this post.

Sauteed Kale: The Recipe

 

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Sauteed Kale
A fine vegetable side dish for any time of year, especially welcome on an otherwise decadent holiday table.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat. When pan is hot, add oil. When oil is hot, add kale by handfuls.
  2. Move kale around pan with spatula until well coated in oil. When kale is thoroughly coated in oil and has decreased in volume by about a third, add garlic if using. Thoroughly mix.
  3. Pour in broth, starting with 1/4 cup. Reduce heat, and let broth cook into kale, with or without a lid on the pan. When broth has cooked away, taste kale to test desired degree of doneness. If you want the kale to be more tender, add more broth and cook longer.
  4. The kale can be made ahead 2 days, then gently reheated on the stove top or in a covered dish in the oven.
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