Sauteed Kale

I hope you haven’t had a dish rack full of kale waiting silently in your kitchen for this next post. Shame on me.

You might think I’m following up a post on decadent chocolate cake (the amount of butter in that recipe, woo!) with something healthy like kale. But I’m really not, because a) I don’t really think that way, and b) this kale is DELICIOUS and you can put enough cheese in it to nullify any health value.

I will take a moment to pat myself on the back (stomach?) and say that this recipe has earned quite a following amongst my friends (ie, want to come over for dinner?… can you bring kale?). This makes me quite proud.

Sauteed Kale

This recipe makes about 4 servings, depending on how much you/your guests like kale. Don’t be astounded by how much the kale cooks down. 2 bunches seems like a lot when it’s all chopped up on your counter, but it really does serve only 4 people.

2 bunches of kale
1 small onion (white or yellow)
Olive oil (or canola)
2 cloves of garlic
Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
Parmesan Cheese to taste

Fill a medium to large stockpot with water and put on high heat.

Wash and trim kale bunches by cutting off the tough stems at the bottom (where there are no leaves), and chop into 1-2 inch sections. Cut kale lengthwise first if leaves are especially wide.

Chop onion in a medium dice. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add oil to the pan and add onions once the oil is hot. You can either sweat the onions (cook for about 5 minutes until they soften and become translucent) or leave them on low heat for longer and caramelize them. While onions are sauteing, add kale to the boiling water (or high simmer) and blanch for up to 1 minute (until the leaves turn bright green).

Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove kale from water and add directly to the saute pan with the onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Saute the kale until most of the water on the bottom of the saute pan has cooked off.

While the kale is sauteing, chop garlic and add to saute pan, being careful not to let it brown. Add lemon juice and zest and saute for another minute. Remove kale from heat and add parmesan cheese, tossing with tongs or a spoon to distribute it. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed.

Recipe Notes

  • You can use any kind of kale or hearty leafy green (collard greens, spinach, mustard greens).
  • You can add as little as 2-3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, or as much as a 1/2 cup, depending on how cheesy you want the dish to be.
  • Other potential flavor combinations (instead of the garlic, lemon, and parmesan) are ginger and soy sauce; indian spices and lime juice; or raisins and cider vinegar.

Serving Ideas
Excellent as a side dish, or serve over rice or pasta, with sauteed chicken or sausage.


5 thoughts on “Sauteed Kale

  1. Ryan

    This is so tasty it’s true!

    And I love that you’re including suggestions for other flavor combos, that’s super helpful. You should definitely keep that up when possible.

  2. Mom

    I love this recipe. A feel for kale must be part of your Irish heritage. I do this with spinach or beet greens and skip the blanching step for these more delicate leaves. Beet greens are very spicy and peppery. How’s Frank?


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