Kale: From Garnish to Grandeur!
I will admit it and I am not ashamed, I eat a lot of kale. Typically I can be found buying fresh baby kale in bulk. I prepare kale salads for lunch on a regular basis or hide kale under whatever dinner dish we may be enjoying. I love kale for its versatility, great texture, and the vibrant color it adds to my meals and (not to mention) all the nutritious benefits of this super green!
The other night I wasn’t sure what to prepare but knew I wanted to create something that included kale. Baby kale was not available at my local supermarket so I opted for its adult, full-grown cruciferous counterpart – which I also adore. As I cruised the supermarket aisles trying to decide what ingredients would pull this dish together I kept repeating my mantra – color & flavor, color & flavor. What I came up with turned out to be a tasty and healthy dinner. (My husband can vouch for this… he even went back for a second helping!)
Kale Saute with Chickpeas, Feta and Fresh Herbs
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons dry white wine, I used a chardonnay
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
12 large mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large bunch of kale, cleaned and ripped into bite-size pieces
1 8 oz. can of chickpeas
1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup of fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup or ricotta, optional
In a large saute pan combine the shallots, garlic and olive oil and cook over medium to high heat for 4 minutes.
Pour in the wine, let it absorb into the mix about 1 minute and then add in the mushrooms, red peppers, crushed red pepper, black pepper and salt and cook for about 4 more minutes.
Add in the asparagus and half the kale, let it cook down a minute or two then add in the rest of the kale. Cook for about 2-3 more minutes or until the asparagus finishes cooking. (Asparagus should be tender to bite.)
Toss in the chickpeas, feta, basil, parsley and ricotta, and stir for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and serve immediately. -Enjoy