By Lori Powell
Not sure if Kale is on your hit list, but it should be! This cruciferous dark veggie is one of the healthiest around; so delicious, smoky and with such an appealing texture, you should try it if you haven’t already.
Forget how good it tastes – it has so many health perks that you can’t lose by consuming it. Kale has anti-cancer health benefits and cholesterol-lowering properties, to name a few.
Keep in mind kale doesn’t wilt as much as spinach so cook in batches. To best remove the kale leaves from the tough ribs, simply hold the stem at one end and pull the leaf from the rib with the other hand. Then chop into bite-size pieces.
Here’s one of my favorite ways to make it.
Kale with Toasted Hazelnuts, Raisins, Shiitake, Parmesan, Ricotta and Fresh Lemon
Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 20 minutes
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
½ cup chopped hazelnuts or pine nuts
½ pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup raisins
1 ½ pounds lacinato kale, tough ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
1 small lemon juiced
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
½ cup fresh ricotta
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large non stick skillet over moderate heat and cook hazelnuts, stirring, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
Add another tablespoon oil to skillet and cook mushrooms, stirring, until tender and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in garlic, salt and pepper, and cook 1 minute more. Add wine and raisins and simmer, stirring occasionally until wine is almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Add another tablespoon oil to skillet with half of kale and cook stirring over moderate heat until kale is wilted and just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl with mushrooms. Repeat with remaining kale adding more oil if necessary.
Add lemon juice, Parmesan and season with more salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon into serving bowls; top with ricotta.
TIPS: Add leftover kale for an extra dimension to soups, pasta sauces or to sandwiches, such as a grilled panini.
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