Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kale and hearty

Kale chorizo

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
olive oil
250g chorizo
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.

1 comment:

  1. Kale is 'Grünkohl' in Germany, and in Northern Germany there is a whole ceremony around Grünkohlessen (eating kale): [from Wikipedia]
    The participants in a Kohlfahrt ("cabbage walk") arrange a walk through the countryside to a village pub, usually in mid-winter. Often this walk is linked with cross-country games like Boßeln and the like. As fortification against the frosty weather and in preparation for the hearty meal, an ample supply of alcoholic beverages, such as korn, or for sailors, sherry, is taken in a shopping trolley or handcart, which are handed out as part of the games or at waypoints along the walk (e.g., at crossroads or pylons). At the village pub, the merry walkers are served with Grünkohl and, depending on the region, with [sweet (not to everyone's taste)] baked potatoes or boiled potatoes and Kassler, Bregenwurst, Pinkel or Kohlwurst. In addition there is also much to drink (beer, Korn) allegedly to aid the digestion. In many areas there is also music and dancing after the meal.
    I could totally see you doing this.