Recipe: Quick Kale Huevos

Colorado weather can be frustrating. April comes and we think spring, then a snowstorm blows in. May’s gentle spring rains come, but turn to freezing sleet on a dime. And in June, when we’re ready for the riotous color of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant–we get greens. Our gardens and Farmer’s Markets are filled with chard, kale, collards, lettuce, spinach–all lovely but all green.

There is a reason for the bounty of greens. They are cold weather crops capable of surviving Colorado’s unpredictable, often-brutal springs. Take spinach. Not only can it successfully “hibernate” all winter, it practically relishes a spring snowstorm–emerging unscathed and actually tasting better. Meanwhile, hot weather tomatoes, peppers and eggplant can’t even be planted until mid-May and don’t start flourishing until well into July and August.

So in June, it’s all about the greens. While a radiant sight after winter’s brown and grey, they can get tedious. So in the vein of making lemonade from life’s lemons, find a quick idea for kale below.

Want more ideas?  Come to our class:  “Vegetables, Tasty, Tasty Vegetables,” a seasonal meal-making class focused on the greens–buying, storing, prepping, lots of versatile uses.

  • 5 Tuesdays:  June 3 – July 1   ~   5:30 to 8:00 p.m.
  • Register Online through City of Boulder–Class Code:  215238  Or simply call Parks and Recreation: 303-413-7270 (before 5 p.m.); 303-441-4400 (after 5 p.m.)

Also see one of the first posts, “It’s a Green, Green World,” with four more unique recipes for the green season:

  • Spinach and Sweet Potato Soft Shell Tacos
  • Red, White and Greens Stir-Fry
  • Wilted Spinach with Radish Dressing
  • Pasta Frisee

 Recipe:  Quick Kale Huevos

 A great way to get in a couple servings of vegetables at breakfast time–but equally good for lunch and dinner. Be sure to use 100% whole grain bread for a 100% healthful meal.

Quick Kale Huevos–or substitute chard or spinach

Step 1–Stem and Chop Kale  Stem an entire bunch so you’re set for several meals. Once stemmed, bunch kale leaves together and chop into pieces roughly 1″ square, then wash and spin dry in a salad spinner.  Tip: Remember to chop and save the stems for soup, stir fires, etc.

Step 2–Simmer-Steam Kale Use about a cup of liquid; broth provides a great flavor boost. Cover and cook over low heat until kale is tender to taste, then remove the lid, turn up the heat and cook to evaporate any remaining liquid.   Tip: Kale can be harsh-tasting (why a lot of people are leery of it.) Experiment with cooking it a little longer than usual–past where it loses its vibrant color, it may even become fairly limp–but you may well like it a lot better!

Step 3–Two-Pan Cooking  To speed things along, I use a second pan to fry the eggs and toast the bread while the kale cooks in its own pan.

Step 4 Assemble Toast, kale, eggs, salsa. I also had leftover slow-cooker beans in the frig. Why not throw those on as well after a quick heating in the microwave?  Other additions: cheese, avocado, chiles, low-fat sour cream . . .



Kale Cooking Lessons

Had a great class last night about cooking kale–how to blanch it in salt water to remove the harshness and make it more tender.    Then we used it in a well-received dish:  Kale Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Sauteed Pears.  At the end, however, someone asked if he should always blanch kale before using it.  It seems he just sautes it, without first blanching, then tops it with lots of toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds.

That inquiry gave me another lesson in good answers and better answers to cooking questions.

In last week’s fresh cilantro example, I learned that the technically correct answer to a cooking question isn’t an absolute.  On the continuum of possible cooking options, the technically correct answer may hold the “Best” position, but there are a lot of “Good” to “Better” options to the left of it that could produce perfectly satisfactory results.

In response to the kale question, I gave the technically correct answer:  For tough characters like kale, blanching holds the “Best Cooking Technique” position because it has such a good success rate.    But it would have been better if I had also shared two additional, key tenets for home cooks:

1.  Do what works and what you can. If sauteing kale is something that you are comfortable doing,  that you can do easily, that you actually do–and that produces food you like–then don’t ever give it up as long as it is healthful.

Kale Pizza Picture

A Valentine for Your Heart: Kale Pizza

2.  Accumulate, don’t replace. New techniques aren’t meant to replace current techniques that work.  Instead, think of a new technique as  just one more trick up your sleeve.  So the next time you’re staring at a bunch of kale on the counter, hallelujah!  You now have one more delicious way to fix it–a really good thing since kale is so power-packed and it’s in season in all winter long.

So happy kale eating and please leave a comment if you’d like a copy of the wonderful recipe we made:  Kale Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Sauteed Pears.

By the way, I am going to experiment using the pizza topping with pasta (whole grain of course.)  Maybe with extra olive oil and chicken or vegetable broth for a little sauciness.  I’ll also revisit kale sauteing and see if I can come up with an even better answer for next time.

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