I heard myself say this last night while departing from a coffee date with a friend: "I've got a bag of kale in the truck and I'm really excited to get it home."....??? Sounds romantic, right?
What can I say. I love kale! It's handsome and hearty. Strapping and satisfying. Curly and crunchy. It's like the vegetable world's answer to meat. That's not to say, though, that I didn't make some chicken to sit alongside. To quote a farmer's anecdote in a great piece of writing I read in Saveur last evening, "I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables." Ha!
When I got home and the kale was well-washed (grit should NOT be part of the deal), I chopped it into thin ribbons and piled it into a gorgeous piney green mound on the chopping block. A couple of garlic cloves fell into thin slices under my newly sharpened knife, three small tomatoes met similar fates. These went into a pan with a splosh each of water, red wine vinegar and tamari, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and a fine casting of salt. Add in the sturdy threads of dark green, slap that lid on, let her steam away for about ten minutes. Remove lid, let the liquids cook down and almost disappear, and you're left with a savory, tangy sauce that tempts the tongue to lick the plate.
And I did, in the safety and solitude of my own little warm kitchen.
Next on the recipe list: kale chips.