Kale. It’s a vegetable that frequently induces this kind of reaction. But I for one love it.
A favorite neighborhood restaurant helped show me the light. A standard side dish for them is a delicious pile of kale braised in tamari soy sauce. It’s hearty and strikes a balance between saltiness, sweetness, and the bitterness of the greens. It also packs a wallop of a umami punch, probably thanks to that dark, rich soy sauce. Before our daughter was born, my husband and I ate there practically weekly but in the first few months of new, homebound parenthood, I had to figure out how to make that kale at home. Here’s my best effort– not exactly the same in taste, but I love this just the same. I like to serve this on the side of homemade mac n’ cheese just like they do at the restaurant (only there’s is an amazing vegan version!) since it’s not only delicious and helps cut through the creaminess of the cheese, but it also deceives me into thinking that mac n’ cheese is a nutritious meal.
- 1 large bunch of kale (curly, lacinato, black your choice)
- 1 small red or sweet onion or 1 large shallot if you prefer
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Remove kale leaves from stems then discard stems. Roughly chop the leaves and rinse in a colander. Do not shake dry– you want the water to still cling to the leaves.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Thinly slice the onion then add to the skillet. Saute until softened. Turn the heat up to medium high then add the kale leaves. Sprinkle with brown sugar, tamari, and black pepper and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook until liquid has evaporated and lightly coats the kale leaves. Serve immediately.