Warm Kale Salad
Kale, sometimes called 'Savoy cabbage' is one of those vegetables which you either love or hate. The reason why there are those who find this vegetable repulsive is most probably to do with the (wrong) way it has been prepared.Kale should really be loved and the reason is that this queen of all greens is full of antioxydants, has anti-inflammatory properties, contains more iron than beef, more calcium than milk, has zero fat, very few calories and is loaded with vitamins A,K and C.If you follow this easy 3 step recipe you will learn to love Kale as much as I do.
Cost: 1-2 Euro, 1-2 US$
- Either a large, well seasoned, heavy duty dutch oven or wok. OR a non-stick pan/wok
- large bowl and a whisk
- 1 kg kale whole head. (also known as 'Savoy cabbage')
- FOR THE DRESSING
- 10 cl olive oil extra virgin
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 1 whole lemon squeezed, pits removed
- Start with the kale. Remove the first layer of outer leafs and discard.
- Then peel the other large dark green leafs, place them on top of each other and cut away the thick vein in the centre. Roll & fold the leafs (together) and cut sideways into ribbons. Place into a large dutch oven or wok, well seasoned* as seen in the image. (See notes* below on how to season a pan).
- Cut the remaining head of kale right through the middle. cut away the centre of each half, i.e. the stem (which is actually very nice eaten raw).
- Slice each half into ribbons.
- Place the pan on high heat. Start by sauteing the dark green kale ribbons first and use tongs to turn the kale. The pan should really be well seasoned, in which case there is no need to add any oil. In case the pan is not seasoned then use as little oil as possible. Trust me, we do NOT want to use any oil during heating because; 1) it would destroy the flavour, 2) overheated oil is bad for you, thus destroying the goodness that the kale holds.
- Keep stir-frying (using no oil, or as little oil as possible) the kale, using the tongs to turn. Keep doing this till the kale becomes caramelized. The kale should look like in the picture.
- in a large bowl mix the olive oil, the lemon juice and salt with the whisk. Add the warm kale, mix thoroughly in the dressing and serve immediately.
Seasoning a pan What does it mean to season a pan: when 'seasoning' a pan you are adding a coating to make the pan non-stick. The coating is applied by basically building layers of carbon. Not all pans need to be seasoned. Do this only for 'carbon steel' aluminium and cast iron pans and preferably when they are new. Method: Wash the pan with soap, then rinse and dry. Place the pan over high heat and add a teaspoon of oil. Wait till the oil starts to smoke (if the pan is super hot then the oil should start to smoke within seconds, so stay with it!) Wipe the pan clean with an old cotton rag or some heavy duty paper, like newspaper. Be careful not to burn your hands! repeat this action 5-6 times or until you see a nice black layer of carbon building up. Once the pan has been 'seasoned' its time to use it. Whatever you cook in it, do it by using as little oil as possible. A pan that has been seasoned well can and should only be used for sauteing meat and for stir-fries, nothing else. When finished cooking clean the pan with a little soap and a soft sponge. Over time the seasoning layer will continue to build up. The more layers the better the non-stick action and the longer your pan will live. The kale salad in this recipe was made using the stir-fry technique and no oil in a very old Dutch oven, used by my (yes, no joke!) Dutch grandmother's grandmother. Enjoy!