A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘kale’

Raw Kale Salad with Pecorino

In Drink, Food, Recipes on August 10, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Each Wednesday I pick up a bag of fresh produce from my local CSA, and each Wednesday I am faced with the challenge of what to do with another bunch of kale. The dilemma has recently escalated thanks to the Pressed Juicery cleanse I embarked upon two months ago—the only lasting results of which have been that the very mention of kale renders me completely hostile and irritable, much like the cleanse itself.

And yet the kale keeps coming. Today my friend Christine offered me a lifeline and shared her husband Andrew’s recipe for a raw kale salad with lemon juice, salt and grated pecorino. I remembered seeing a similar version in the New York Times from Melissa Clark, which I ended up using (minus the bread crumbs). And you know what? I’m ADDICTED! The flavors are so fresh and tangy, and the cheese adds just a hint of nuttiness. It was spectacular alongside grilled corn from our farm bag and a beautiful piece of Alaskan salmon my sister brought over this evening:

Melissa’s recipe calls for Tuscan kale, but I used curly kale and julienned the raw kale into tiny slivers, as my main objection to other raw kale salads you find at, say, Whole Foods with larger pieces of kale is the lock jaw that comes from chewing the stuff. I hope you enjoy Melissa’s recipe as much as I did! And of course, keep the kale ideas coming!

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Pecorino (slightly adapted)

This recipe also appears in Melissa Clark’s excellent cookbook, In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite

1 bunch Tuscan kale (also known as black or lacinato kale)

1 thin slice country bread (part whole-wheat or rye is nice), or 1/4 cup homemade bread crumbs (coarse)

1/2 garlic clove

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, more for garnish

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for garnish

Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Trim bottom 2 inches off kale stems and discard. Slice kale, including ribs, into 3/4-inch-wide ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place kale in a large bowl.

If using bread, toast it until golden on both sides. Tear it into small pieces and grind in a food processor until mixture forms coarse crumbs.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound garlic into a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer garlic mixture to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper flakes and black pepper, and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over kale and toss very well to thoroughly combine (dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat leaves).

Let salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with bread crumbs, additional cheese and a drizzle of oil.

Oh, and don’t forget to “garnish” with a gorgeous glass of 2009 Ponzi Rosato Pinot Noir ($15)…

Fusilli with Kale and Cauliflower

In Food, Recipes on April 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Our weekly CSA farm box continues to throw out more challenges for using kale. Which is a good thing; we should all eat more kale. In fact, my friend Andrea has a weekly kale night. I riffed on a Suzanne Goin recipe from Sunday Suppers, but simplified it a lot.

1 pound cavolo nero, or dinosaur kale

3/4 to 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 sprig rosemary

1 teaspoon red chile flakes

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 medium head cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets

1 pound fusilli pasta

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

4-6 cloves garlic, minced or chopped

1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts

Grated parm (optional)

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch kale for 2 minutes. Drain and cool greens on baking sheet. When they have cooled, squeeze out excess water.

Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add rosemary sprig and red chile flakes and cook for about 1 minute. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add kale and a couple more tablespoons of olive oil and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring often.

While kale is cooking, boil cauliflower for 4-5 minutes, until just tender. Remove with slotted spoon and reserve pot of boiling water to use for cooking pasta. After kale has been cooking about 20 minutes, add cauliflower, thyme and garlic to kale/onions in Dutch oven. Add additional olive oil as needed. Cook 8-10 minutes, until cauliflower starts to caramelize, scraping pan often with a wooden spoon.

Meanwhile add pasta to pot of boiling water and cook to desired doneness. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Add drained pasta to vegetables and toss to combine with vegetables. Cook for a couple minutes and add 1/2 cup pasta water to pan. Stir to combine, and add more water if necessary. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in toasted pine nuts and add additional olive oil (and, if using, grated parm) if desired. Serve.

Chicken Pot Pie with Kale

In Food, Recipes on March 20, 2011 at 11:16 am

Few things comfort like chicken pot pie, and we were definitely in need of comfort food around here last week. Monday night’s supper came together rather brilliantly—one of those magical meals where you already have everything in the fridge (crème fraîche, carrots, mushrooms and kale) as well as a lone sheet of butter puff pastry from the freezer. I like to keep some puff pastry on hand—you can make a last-minute onion tart in a pinch, or, in this case a pot pie with remainders from an enormous roast chicken from the previous night’s dinner. My favorite butter puff pastry is Dufour, which you can find at Surfas here in LA, but even Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets will work just fine in a pinch.

But back to this pot pie. I’ve mentioned my love affair with our local CSA—each Wednesday we pick up a bagful of farm fresh produce and then cook our way through it the rest of the week. That’s how some cavolo nero—aka lacinto or dinosaur kale—found its way into the pot pie. But really, you could use just about any veggies. Get creative!

Individual Chicken Pot Pies with Cavolo Nero

Serves 4

I love using sherry with mushrooms, but you can certainly substitute vermouth or white wine or even more chicken broth to suit your tastes.

4 slices bacon

small yellow onion, chopped

2 1/2 cups chopped and peeled carrots

small bunch kale, washed, deveined and chopped

4-5 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup dry sherry

2/3 cup crème fraîche (plus 1 additional tablespoon for brushing on pastry)

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

3 cups chopped roast chicken (if you don’t have leftovers on hand, buy a pre-roasted chicken from the supermarket and voila!)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted

Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Chop bacon. Add onion to drippings in skillet; sauté until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add onion, carrot, kale and mushrooms, cook for several minutes.

Add broth and sherry; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil until veggies are almost tender and some liquid is reduced, about 8 minutes. Stir in 2/3 cup crème fraîche, chicken, thyme and bacon. Bring to simmer. Salt and pepper, to taste. Divide among four large ramekins.

Unfold puff pastry onto work surface; roll out to 12-inch square. Cut into 4 squares. Top filling in dishes with pastry; fold edges down onto rims of dish. Brush top of crusts with 1 tablespoon crème fraîche. Cut small X in center of crusts; pierce all over with fork.

Bake in a 450-degree oven until crusts are golden brown and filling is heated through, about 22 minutes.

Farro with Roasted Squash and Kale

In Food, Recipes on November 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Sometimes cleaning out the contents of your fridge magically creates a perfect meal. Like this farro salad with roasted squash, red onions and kale, drizzled with yogurt sauce. I got the idea for the yogurt sauce from the current issue of Bon Appétit but tweaked a little based on what I had at home.

It’s the kind of meal you should plan a day in advance if possible as ideally you’ll need to soak the farro in cold water for 8 hours, unless you can find semi-pearled farro which cooks much faster and doesn’t need to be soaked ahead of time. Then, I chop up a butternut squash into 4-inch chunks, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

These go into a 400-degree oven to roast for about 45 minutes. (It’s easier to roast large chunks with skin on as the cooked squash easily separates from the skin. To my mind, peeling and cubing is a pain in the patootie—what time you save in the oven you spend at the chopping block.)

While the squash was roasting, I boiled 2 cups of farro for about 15-18 minutes (it had been soaking for 8 hours). And in a skillet I sautéed a thinly sliced red onion with some olive oil and garlic. Earlier in the day for Tiny G’s lunch, I had made Kale Chips using a head of a beautiful red-veined variety.

There were plenty chips left over—there are only so many kale chips a two-year-old will tolerate—and so I thought I’d toss the rest into the mixture for a crispy contrast.

And the sauce couldn’t have been easier. One cup of plain yogurt mixed with a couple tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a teaspoon of ground cumin and a pinch of pimentòn (Spanish paprika) for a smokey note. All assembled, the dish serves 4-6 for a comforting family dinner. Or two adults for dinner with plenty of leftovers for lunch throughout the week.

Whole Grain Pasta with Pork Sausage and Kale

In Food on October 15, 2009 at 7:44 am

whole wheat pasta kale sausage

After reading how I have yet to meet a whole wheat pasta I liked, my friend Gaia sent me a bag of Cara Nonna spiral pasta made from durum whole wheat. It’s sold at her parents’ fantastic Guidi Marcello (an Italian marketplace) in Santa Monica—where the better chefs in town source their olive oil, Parmigiano, pasta and rice, etc. Because Gaia is very beautiful and has exquisite taste in handbags, I had to take her word on the pasta—and I’m soooo glad I did!

At the Hollywood Farmer’s Market this weekend, I grabbed some pork sausage, an onion, some garlic and some prehistoric-looking kale. I sautéed the onions and garlic in olive oil until they softened, then added the kale (which I had rinsed, deveined and chopped up before adding to the pan) and drizzled with more olive oil. I covered and simmered that for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate skillet I cooked the pork sausage while the pasta boiled in a third pan. And then tossed it all together.

HUGE, HUGE hit…so earthy and autumnal, and the pasta texture was absolutely perfect. Would never have guessed I was dealing with a whole wheat pasta. Thank you, Gaia, and you can count on finding me in the aisles of Guidi Marcello loading up on Cara Nonna.

Tuscan Kale Chips

In Food on March 28, 2009 at 4:44 pm

kale chips

Bon Appétit‘s February issue was all about eating green (in the global sense), and one of my favorite recipes from that delicious issue is the Tuscan Kale Chips (eating green in the literal sense!) from Blue Hill Farm’s Dan Barber. I’ve been on a bit of a kale jag lately, and love the nutty nuances in this super healthy green. Also, I don’t like potato chips, never have, so this is a perfect sub for crunchy goodness to snack on either all by themselves, or alongside a tuna fish sandwich.

First, you’ll want to use Tuscan kale, which you’ll find under a myriad of names including cavolo nero, dinosaur kale, Lacinato kale, black kale, but is basically the one with long bumpy leaves. Rinse the leaves, dry and cut in half to remove the center stalk. Then toss them in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil and a little salt and pepper.


Then arrange leaves in a single layer on two baking sheets, and bake at 250 for 30 minutes or so. They are so satisfying, nutty, crispy, slightly briny, and betcha can’t eat just one.

Fish & Chips

In Food on March 28, 2009 at 9:22 am


Last Sunday we had tuna sandwiches along with kale chips, inspired by a recipe from Chef Dan Barber that ran in Bon Appétit. My husband declared this the best tuna sandwich he’d ever tasted, and I hope so. Because I have a confession to make about the ingredients. Namely, the list doesn’t include Bumble Bee. Let’s start with the bread. I got a sliced loaf of whole grain from La Boulangerie at the Larchmont Farmer’s Market. (Their French boule is incredible, too.)


On to the tuna fish. And here’s where I’m likely to get in trouble. I used Ortiz Bonito del Norte (white tuna in olive oil), that I got either at Surfas or Whole Foods, I don’t remember, but I do remember that we’re looking at $13 worth of tuna for two sandwiches. The tuna is caught by line and rod, which is environmentally friendly! It’s from Spain, is aged in olive oil, and it’s dolphin safe! And it’s $13 for 8 oz??? Okay. Moving right along, I mixed this heavenly tuna with just a dollop of mayo—you don’t need much if any—and some homemade celery salt (simply celery seed, below, + sea salt). Crack a little fresh pepper in there, too.

celery seed

Then I slathered one slice of the toasted bread with mayo (wish I’d had some Kewpie mayo left, which would have been amazing, but we’re out), and Mendocino Suds & Seeds Mustard on the other. I spooned the tuna onto one of the slices, topped with thick shavings of parm and some Bubbies Bread and Butter Chips. Et voila, pure nostalgia at its grown-up best. I’ll post later about the super yummy kale chips, because they knocked this combo out of the park.

Bucatini with Kale and Kalamatas

In Food on March 20, 2009 at 7:11 pm


Nobody is more shocked than I about how HUGE a HIT the lacinato kale was last night with my husband. (That’s the dark green kale with crinkled, bumpy leaves, also known as cavolo nero and dinosaur kale.) I’ve been seeing all kinds of leafy greens and pasta everywhere, and thought this carby combo was my best shot at sneaking kale to the table.  Bon Appétit‘s February issue has a ton of ideas for using kale, and gives tips for fast cooking: “Simply cook kale for a minute in a pot of boiling salted water. Drain, squeeze out excess water, and sauté with olive oil and garlic for two minutes.” Toss with pasta—we used bucatini, but Barilla Plus spaghetti would be the healthier, guilt-free option—and a squirt of lemon for a little acid. I had some leftover olives from book club the previous evening, so chopped up some of those and added to the mix for some healthier fat (the kind that fights cholesterol) than the typical sausage that usually accompanies kale and pasta on menus. Top with thick shavings of parm for a little protein.


M Café de Chaya

In Food on January 13, 2009 at 8:31 pm


Left the office later than usual tonight, which meant that stopping at Whole Foods on the way home was out of the question. So I cheated and swung by M Café de Chaya on Melrose/La Brea. I know, I know—it’s macrobiotic. And yes, one of the chefs used to be personal chef to one of the most self-enchanted people on the planet (Gywnnie).  But if you can get past those two road blocks, the food is actually quite good—and relatively guilt-free. Like the kale with spicy peanut sauce and red onions, or the beet quinoa with lemon zest.  Quinoa, btw, is a complete protein, so that acted as my main course with the kale on the side. My husband went for a grilled tuna burger with pickled red onions, daikon sprouts and yuzu mayo on a whole bun with a side of wasabi potato salad. The sesame soba noodles are also great, but probably a little less angelic.