Resolving the ennui of kale


I like kale, I really do, but when I see at the store it just doesn’t look appetizing. It’s only after I blanch it that it actually looks tasty…and that’s the trick to kale, peel it off it’s quill and dunk it into salted boiling water for 2 minutes. It turns bright green and tender. But even beyond that, let’s face it, kale needs some oomph…some bright and tantalizing flavor to ride rough-shod over it’s brassica nature, and even more important, my late-winter ennui. I really need a freakin fresh, green, leafy, salad…but I’ve got kale.

Before I blanched the kale I blanched some carrots so they’d retain their color and flavor. Then I set the carrots and kale aside while I simmered some onion in olive oil. I added one diced potato, one TJ’s chicken chipotle sausage (diced), about 2 cups of homemade pork stock (chicken stock works too), and 3 cloves of garlic (minced). I cooked that down on medium low until the potato became tender. Then I added some white wine, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika, and 2 teaspoons aleppo pepper. I let that all mingle and simmer for about 15 minutes then I dropped the carrots and kale in, gave it a toss and served it up. The combination of the cumin, paprika, and aleppo pepper was like a hot bath…it cheered me up, cleared my head, and made me feel so much better. Spices will do that…what spices do you like?