Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Kale and hearty
With the Yueltide nearing (we’re not there, but you can see it from here) and with it the usual gorging on baked goods, booze, starch and meats, I thought I’d try to get one (last?) sort-of healthy meal in beforehand.
Apparently kale is a member of the cabbage family (as are Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower). Kale, unlike its firm-headed cabbage kin, has no heart. That’s not a character assessment, though it makes sense given how tough and bitter kale can be. Still, once you get to know kale, it’s not such a bad leafy green. It’s remarkably good for you (that’s one of the reasons why I always wrote it off as hippy food; well, that and hippies really like kale) and, best of all, it’s one of the few greens that keeps fresh into the winter months even as all the lettuces and spinaches from California wilt in their sad plastic bins.
So, armed with a bunch of kale, a few chorizo and some random fridge scraps including some blanched green beans and some olives, I whipped up a warm and deeply satisfying winter salad. I’d definitely make this again, omitting the olives (they made things a bit too salty).
Warm kale salad with chorizo and almonds (inspired by Nigel Slater)
Small bunch of kale
1/4 cup skinned whole almonds
a clove of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp good quality cider vinegar
Wash the kale thoroughly, trim stalks and chop leaves roughly.
Thickly slice the chorizo and fry in a skillet over medium heat till golden. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl lined with paper towel. Discard excess oil and wipe the frying pan clean.
Add the almonds and cook for 2 or 3 minutes till pale gold then lift out and add to the chorizo.
Warm some more oil in the pan, add the crushed garlic and shredded greens and cook for a couple of minutes, turning the greens over as they cook, till glossy and just starting to darken in colour.
Return the chorizo and almonds to the pan, drizzle with vinegar, season with pepper and serve.