Sweet and Savory Kale

I made this for the second time in 10 days just so I could show it to you.  I mean, that’s just the kind of person I am, you know?  I took this one for the team, but don’t get used to it or anything.  Just kidding, dear readers – I would have made it again with or without you. It was that good.  Actually, I have a confession regarding this one:  I’ve never had kale before this.  I know.  I can’t believe it either.

I know kale is having a moment right now, but I’ve always heard how bitter it is, and you have to cook it just so to enjoy it… and on and on and on.  Aside from all that, though, we already like greens around here.  I’m not exaggerating in the least when I say that I could serve only cooked greens to my husband for every meal and he’d be OK with that – we love collards, and spinach, and turnip greens and we eat them regularly, so I never saw the need to pick kale during my shopping.  So what changed, you ask?  Well, I sent Jacob to the store for salad – like spring mix, folks – and he bought me this.  So I really had no choice but to cook it for dinner.  And since I had no reliable recipe to fall back on, I just used the one on the back of the bag.  And guys?  We loved  it.  It’s basically just cooked down with a sort of semi-vinaigrette (I say semi because you use some chicken stock, and I’d never put that in a vinaigrette) and that’s it.  I’ll probably make this one regularly with additions or subtractions as I have the time and/or inclination to play with it, but this one is definitely going to be a staple in our house, and I hope you’ll give it a try too.

 

SWEET AND SAVORY KALE

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ medium onion-chopped
3 cloves garlic-minced
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 ¼ cups chicken broth
1 lb bag of kale greens

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion softens stirring often about 5 minutes. Stir in mustard, sugar, cider vinegar and chicken stock. Bring to a boil on high heat. Add kale, cover, and cook about 15 minutes stirring often. When liquid is reduced by about half and greens are tender, serve and enjoy.

*The recipe also had the option to add 1/3 cup dried cranberries for the last 10 minutes of cooking and then sprinkle with sliced almonds when served, which I omitted due to the preference of my guest, but I’ll definitely give that a try next time.

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Look what I did!

Check this out:

I grew that stuff! All by myself!  Those thin peppers are cayennes, the light green one is a cubanelle, and there is one little bell pepper that got picked a little too soon.  And thousands of tomatoes!  I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!  This year is my first attempt at growing my own produce, and I can’t tell you how cool it is to cook with ingredients that came from my own backyard.  I started off very modestly – I’ve got 6 tomato plants, 1 cherry tomato, 2 bell peppers, 1 cayenne pepper, and 1 cubanelle pepper (I had never heard of the cubanelles before, but they are a mild, somewhat sweet, pepper similar to the bells but with thinner skin.  I’ve been using them in omelettes and in place of bells in some recipes).  I actually have 4 tomatoes and the peppers in large pots on my back deck, which is very convenient to my kitchen, but I definitely have to keep an eye on them – they need water every day or they will absolutely wilt, and they also need fertilizer more frequently than my “in-ground” plants.  Next year I plan to have a much larger garden with more variety, but even with just the small scale gardening I did this year, I get such a wonderful feeling every time I walk out to my porch and pick my own produce…It’s indescribable. I took these tiny little plants and helped them to grow and provide all this bounty for my kitchen.  Absolutely amazing.

In other news:

I finally got a Silpat!  I’m so excited to try it out, but the day I got it I had already planned to make these cupcakes and a silpat is pretty useless for that.  Happily, I found this artice/recipe about chocolate chip cookies that I plan to make very soon…maybe tomorrow.  I’ve been yearning for a silpat since I first encountered one on one of my favorite blogs (the Wednesday Chef) sometime last year.  I’ll let you know what I think, but really, who wouldn’t love a nonstick baking mat that keeps your baking sheets clean and helps your lovely baked good come away with perfectly intact bottoms?

Oh, and I bought these a few days ago and still can’t figure out what to do with them.  I’ve been eating them out of hand, but sometimes I don’t even want to do that, because they are infusing my kitchen with the most wonderful sweet, fruity, summery fragrance.

I may make a cobbler with them…or a crisp (yes, I know crisps are for fall/winter, but they make such a good (and actually healthy!) breakfast that I’m seriously considering it).  I’ll let you know how it turns out.