Instead of creamed spinach, try this creamed kale recipe, a classic with slightly more substance but equally perfect as an easy side dish for dinner! (Jump directly to the recipe.)
“I think I’m going to get a little bit more of that kale. And that something I’ve never said before!” said my sister-in-law as she got up from the table to head to the kitchen. Apparently my sister-in-law hates kale. That is, until I made it. I personally like kale but I don’t make it often and I certainly don’t make it often for company. But I was hosting Thanksgiving dinner for my family and the meal tends to be pretty heavy with meat and carbs. Creamed kale seemed like a great side dish, a splash of green to go on the table.
I had been planning on blogging about my creamed kale recipe for awhile, ever since Thanksgiving when my sister-in-law told me she loved it. I promised her that I’d get it up on the site but then the holidays came around, and well, you know how it is. I get side tracked with presents, travel and getting sick. Yeah, I was that person on the plane coughing up a storm. Sorry United Flight 500 to Indianapolis Christmas Eve. I was that person. Trust me, I didn’t want to be on that plane that much either.
But January is here and though I had a slightly relapse with my sinuses (damn you weak constitution), I’m finally on the mend (I hope) and ready to tackle 2015 with verve and zest. And with the new year, I’ll probably be making creamed kale fairly often. Hopefully my sister-in-law will too. She has been wanting me to post about it since I served it because she thinks she should eat more kale. “It’s suppose to be so good for you, but I don’t like how it tastes! Except I love this!” she declared. Well here you go. No promises on it being good for you though. I mean, it IS made with cream. And butter. I think those both may negate the good stuff in the kale. But who cares when it tastes this good!
By Irvin Lin
This side dish is similar to creamed spinach but with a litle more substance as the the kale doesn’t just disintegrate into the cream when cooked. By first blanching the kale in hot salted water and then sautéing it with the heavy cream, the bitterness of the kale is leached out. You’re left with a great side dish that holds up better to protein main courses like steak or pork chops. This is the sort of dish you can serve to someone who claims to hate kale but likes spinach. Just don’t tell them what it is first and see if they can figure it out!
2 lbs (about 4 bunches) Lacinato kale, washed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 large garlic cloves
1 medium yellow onion
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1. Fill a large stockpot 2/3rds with water. Sprinkle salt in the water until it’s salty (like sea water). Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. While the water is heating up, remove the tough stem from the kale and then slice the kale into 1-inch wide ribbons. Roughly mince the garlic cloves and chop the onions.
2. When the water has boiled, place the kale ribbons in the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring the pot to make sure all the kale is submerged. Once the time is done, empty the pot into a large colander, letting the kale drain, then rinse it with cold water until the kale is cool enough to handle.
3. Once the kale is cool to the touch, melt the butter on high heat in large skillet then reduce heat to medium and add the minced garlic. Let it cook for 30 seconds then add the onions. Cook until the onions soften, about 2 minutes or so. Add the kale, squeezing out as much water as possible first, then add the cream and nutmeg. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until the cream reduces a bit. Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper (I went with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper but your taste might vary). Serve immediately.
Makes enough for 4 side servings.
If you like this creamed kale recipe, check out some of these other kale recipes from around the web (that aren’t kale chips!):
Simply Recipes’ Kale with Seaweed, Sesame and Ginger
Food Republic’s Kale Latkes
The Year in Food’s Harvest Salad with Delicata Squash and Kale
Foodie Crush’s Kale and Cabbage Coleslaw with Marcona Almonds
What’s Gaby Cooking’s Hot Kale and Bacon Dip