Sturdy green good in any season
In season: Kale, with its sturdy leaves, feels like a winter green, yet the farmers markets and groceries are full of it now. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
Whether White Russian, red, lacinato or other varieties, kale is in its accendancy, with baby kale leaves especially popular. The baby leaves are so tender, they go beautifully in fresh salads, no cooking needed.
It seems that every restaurant, new cookbook or food blog has a kale salad these days, using the mature leaves as well. (Dressing mature kale ahead of serving allows the leaves to soften enough to eat raw.) Our favorite? A twist on a Caesar, which friends call Kale, Caesar! — saluting Roman style, in partial jest to its mighty deliciousness.
The kale recipe here works in any season. Baby or mature leaves can be used, just adjust the cooking time. You'll want the leaves just cooked through. The rich sausage helps coat the leaves; the sun-dried tomatoes add a bit of tartness.
Kale with grilled sausages and white beans
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
4 links Italian pork or turkey sausage, sweet or hot
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bunches baby kale, stemmed, or 2 large bunches regular kale, stemmed, sliced in 1/2-inch ribbons 1/2 cup each: white wine, water
1 can (14 ounces) white beans, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1. Prepare grill for medium high heat; grill sausages, turning, until done, 5-8 minutes. (Or brown sausages in a skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through.) Slice sausages into 1/2-inch rounds.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften. Add kale, wine and a half cup or so water, if needed. (You may need to add the kale in batches, allowing the first batch to cook down a bit to make room for the rest.) Stir to coat kale; season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until kale wilts, 6 minutes.
3. Stir in beans and sun-dried tomatoes; cook until heated through, 5 minutes. Serve topped with the grilled sausages.
Per serving: 570 calories, 39 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 62 mg cholesterol, 35 g carbohydrates, 23 g protein, 1,308 mg sodium, 10 g fiber.