Friday, November 14, 2008

The Joy of . . . Kale

I love autumn, I love Fridays and yes, I love kale. This morning, Mark Bittman's blog, Bitten, featured an article on this healthiest of vegetables and some fine recipes for it as well. My favorite variety is lacinato or dinaosaur kale; the dark green leaves hold great flavor and cook relatively quickly.

My go-to recipe for kale is Arthur Schwartz's White Bean & Kale soup found in his book, Soup Suppers. The first step is boiling the kale for five minutes or so, cooling and chopping it. You then saute a couple of anchovies, rosemary and garlic in olive oil, add the chopped kale, toss in white beans (cannellini or navy or whatever is on hand). Add four cups of chicken stock to the pot, bring it the boil and add a cup of your favorite small pasta shape; ditalini rules in our house. After the pasta is cooked, the soup is done. I drizzle a bit of olive oil on each dish and grate Parmesan to guild the lily. This easy recipe is an uncontested favorite with my family, especially the kids.

It's autumn and time for hearty flavors. Get thee to a farmer's market (or your supermarket), grab the kale and make some soup or check out the recipes on Bitten. You won't regret it.

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