Sunday, November 23, 2008

Boiled Kale on Toast with an Egg

Have you made this boiled kale yet? (Recipe from the first link.) If not, drop what you're doing and go make it now. And if you have, you understand the appeal of this dish, and, well, you should probably go make it again. I know I will.

The genius of this dish lies in the layering. The kale by itself is really good - I usually saute it until it wilts, and eat it when it is still bright green and just a little bitter. When it's cooked longer in liquid, the color fades, to be sure, but so does the bitterness. At the same time, the broth gets infused with the crisp flavor of the kale, the sweetness of the onions, and the bite of the garlic. (And the hot pepper flakes too, if you have them, but I had run out so I added some Cholula hot sauce at the end.) This could be the basis of a great soup. Instead, the kale gets scooped onto garlic-rubbed toast (tangy sourdough from Amy's Bread with a thin layer of goat cheese spread on top, if you are me). The bread soaks up the flavorful broth just enough to soften up without getting mushy, providing a nice textural contrast with the kale. And then on top of it all, there's an egg - poached or fried, whatever you prefer - with its yolk runny enough to mix with all the layers below and tie the dish together. I skipped the cheese grated on top because it seemed extraneous at that point.

Seriously, this is awesome. It's hearty, comforting, healthy, filling... the perfect antidote to the early-onset winter we're experiencing in New York right now.

One more change I made, just for reference - I had some bacon in the fridge, and greens love salty pork products, so I started the whole thing off in the fat rendered out of one piece of thick-cut bacon. And then I ate the bacon. So I guess that lowers the health factor a bit, but at the same time, I got much less than 5 tbs of fat out of it, so what I sacrificed in fat-health-levels I made up for in reduced quantity. At least that's what I'll keep telling myself.