Saturday, August 22, 2009

Southern Kale

Last night I made a hearty, well-balanced meal that made everyone (well, all two of us) very happy. The "test" recipe was one of the side dishes - southern kale. I have been getting a lot of kale from my CSA, and while I love that hardy, leafy green, I've had a harder time selling it on my husband. When I found this recipe, I thought it might be the ticket - after all, add bacon (or pancetta) to something, and it suddenly gets a bit more palatable.

Well the side dish was nice, but I'm afraid it was overshadowed by the grilled chicken and leftover corn pudding. Still, this is a way of cooking kale that might be a bit more pleasing to the masses. You cook the kale to the point where it is so tender and moist, it is almost the texture of spinach rather than its own more robust texture. And the flavor of the garlic and pancetta permeates throughout and makes for a rather bold leafy green side dish.

Don't be tempted to substitute bacon - it will make the dish far too smoky. If you don't want to do pancetta, prosciutto or country ham would work well too.

Southern Kale
adapted from Eating Well in Season
serves 2-3 as a side dish


1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 oz. diced pancetta
1 bunch of kale, tough stems removed, leaves torn
1 cup water


1. Heat the oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high. Add garlic and stir. Immediately add the pancetta and stir. After about 30 seconds, begin adding the kale in handfuls, stirring to make room for all of it. Add the water and cover the skillet.

2. Cook with the cover on (lifting it to stir occasionally) for 10 minutes. Remove lid and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until all the visible liquid has evaporated, about 10 additional minutes. Serve.



  1. Healthy and quick - what a great side dish. Thank you.

  2. Hi Laura! It was great to meet you two today!