If it’s good for me, I probably don’t get very excited about it. You want to get me all worked up? Feed me a plate of cured meats, triple-creme cheeses, hunks of focaccia and dark chocolate squares. Love and shame on a platter… and so I repent.
“Hello, my name is Brooke Parkhurst and I love fat, salt, processed wheat and 70% cacao.”
If Jamie were to stage some sort of culinary intervention, he’d ban prosciutto from the apartment and feed me kale— that ultra-dark, anti-oxidant-packed leafy green full of Vitamins A & K and hard-to-find minerals like copper, calcium, iron, manganese and phosphorus.
But I’m a woman in charge of my own destiny, right? I can cook my own kale.
So I make the bold move of walking a half dozen blocks to the Union Square Greenmarket to search out the mother of all dark greens. I purchase two bunches- roughly the size of newborn twin babies- and head home. Now to make the slightly bitter, thick leaves into something I can actually enjoy…
I lapse into my old ways by depending on parmesan and hazelnuts to make me happy- and to make the recipe delicious- but I use restraint with the amounts. (And, truth be told, I have Harvard Hannah, my brilliant & sweet across-the-hall neighbor, to thank for the bones of this recipe; she prepared her yogi version of this for a picnic on the river last month.)
After ten minutes of sautéing, I have a warm bowl of goodness on the counter that makes me want to relocate Upstate and join a clean-living ashram. Well, then I pour myself a glass of red, slip in a Netflix and plan out tomorrow night’s charcuterie platter…
(Sauteed Kale Salad w Parmesan & Hazelnuts)
2 bunches raw kale, ribs removed, leaves torn in two
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
9 cloves of garlic, smashed, skin removed
3 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
1/8th – 1/4th cup red onion, finely shaved
1/4th cup + 1 tablespoon raw hazelnuts, roughly chopped
*Cook’s Note: Because kale- even more than spinach- is predominantly water, you will need to work in batches of three. There is no sautee pan in the world large enough to hold 2 bunches of kale at once. If you find one, email me.*
In your biggest sautee pan over high heat, pour about 3 tablespoons olive oil and add 3 cloves of garlic. Quickly heat the oil and lightly brown the garlic cloves. Add 1/3rd of the kale leaves and season with kosher salt. With kitchen tongs, turn the leaves so that they are all exposed to the hot pan. Remove first batch to a bowl and repeat with second and third batch. (With each one, pour about 3 tablespoons olive oil, add 3 garlic cloves and 1/3rd kale leaves and season with salt).
Once all leaves have been sautéed, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, hazelnuts and red onions. Serve warm.