The first time I cooked kale was when we got a bunch of it in our first CSA delivery. It was definitely before kale became the “it” leafy green and I had no clue what to do with it. Luckily, the farm included a handy dandy recipe with that week’s haul. It was for a sweet and sour kale sautee. I remember it had shallots, raisins, vinegar and maybe a touch of sugar. I liked it, although Derek was not a fan.
Fast forward about five years and kale is everywhere, including our kitchen. My favorite way to eat it is raw, in a salad. The other day, I thought I’d re-create that first kale recipe, minus the sweet. I really do love an acid punch to dishes and this sauteed kale doesn’t disappoint. I guess it doesn’t hurt that it also includes bacon.
sauteed kale with bacon
3-4 slices of bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds kale, stems and ribs removed, chopped into bite-size pieces, washed & dried
Salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1-2 tablespoons red wine or apple cider vinegar
In a large skillet, cook the bacon from a cold pan over medium heat until crisp, about 5-6 minutes. Don’t let it burn. Remove the cooked bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate. Add the onion to the bacon grease and cook over medium heat for a couple minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook the onion and garlic until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add the kale and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and add the red pepper flakes, if using. Cook everything over high heat until the kale is all wilted down and tender, about 5-6 minutes. When done, stir in the vinegar off the heat and top with the reserved bacon.