Over a week had passed and we still had a bundle of Red Russian Kale sitting in the refrigerator. We weren’t thinking about it specifically, but we were looking through Wild Garlic, Gooseberries … and Me by Denis Cotter and we noticed a recipe for Red Russian Kale. So, we thought, let’s try it.
Checking the recipe, we saw that we had everything needed and that it was fairly simple. And, with our past success with the Beets and Walnuts in a Orange-Balsamic sauce based on another recipe from the same book, neglecting to try it was not an option.
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 bunch Red Russian Kale
- Grated zest from one orange
- Juice from 1/2 orange
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- Salt and Pepper to taste
If your orange is coated in food wax — most fruit from the supermarket is — you might want to pour boiling water over the orange and then wash it thoroughly before you grate off the zest. For the nutmeg, it would be best to use some that is freshly grated.
Mise en Place. Wash, de-stem the kale, and roughly chop into pieces. Grate zest from orange, then squeeze out juice from half.
Saute Kale. In a skillet over medium heat, bring the oil to a shimmer, and add kale. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it cooks down and is glossy, about 2 minutes.
Add orange and nutmeg. Stir in the orange juice, orange zest, and the nutmeg. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover with a piece of baking parchment. This will slow the escape of the steam and help cook the kale. Continue to simmer until tender, about 5 minutes.
Serve. Taste, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
This is a hard recipe to rate. First off, kale is one of those vegetables that’s difficult to do well. Yes, we know it’s the super-vegetable du jour, these days, but it’s still hard to find recipes that are bursting with flavor. And this one is lacking a bit. One of us thought it was a fairly good way to use kale as it was different, but the other didn’t really care for it too much and thought the orange flavor ended up muddied. So we decided on just two stars. Ah, that’s how the kale simmers, sometimes.