Sautéed Kale

Ten Labor Day weekends have passed since I moved out of my parent’s house (I know that sounds like a lot of years, but remember, I went to boarding school for high school), yet 9 of those 10 have been spent at home. As much as Thanksgiving and the winter holidays are widely recognized as “family holidays”, I feel the need to lump Labor Day into that grouping as well. I know that Labor Day itself doesn’t really have anything to do with togetherness (in fact, I didn’t really know the purpose of the holiday until I looked it up on Wikipedia…apparently we are honoring those who work…does homework fall under that category of work?), but nevertheless it is a 3 day weekend that I always look forward to as the last weekend of summer I get to spend with my family. I know there are still a few more weeks of good weather to look forward to once I get back to the Cleve, but I won’t be spending any of that time at home. Labor day weekend is the last chance I get to swim in the lake (which we do even when the air temp has dropped down to the low 60s), the last chance to eat fresh veggies from mom’s garden, the last chance to check out the bees (mom and dad are extracting honey next weekend), and the last chance to try to coax my brother into taking a trip with me to see the 20 pound rabbits at the county fair (for the record, I did not succeed on that last one).
This Labor Day weekend was a little sad for me since I’m not sure how many more of them I’m going to have at home. It’s pretty unlikely I’ll have the time off during 4th year, and who knows what the first couple years of residency will have in store for me, but as my mom always reminds me, it’s important to stay in the moment. So that’s what I did this weekend. I enjoyed every minute of the trip home. Whether dad and I were cooking while listening to the Gypsy Kings or mom and I were stopping at our 6th garage sale of the day, I stayed in the moment. I didn’t let myself think about what kind of work was waiting for me in Cleveland or whether or not I was going to get to do this again next year. I just let myself appreciate the people (and the food) that make this weekend so enjoyable.

I’m taking this post to highlight mom’s garden. This is her second year working on a garden, and her garden puts the BA garden to shame (especially since the BA garden didn’t actually happen this year). Between the sugar snap peas, basil, kale, and many vegetables that I can’t even name, she has a pretty successful veggie factory. Last time I was home we decided to take a stab at turning the kale into something edible (I’m not knocking raw kale, it’s just not something I would normally crave). I looked through my favorite food blogs for inspiration, but ultimately just started throwing things into the sauté pan until we ended up with what I believe is the tastiest kale recipe you will ever try (I invite you to challenge my belief system). As a side note, I think you could also try this recipe on swiss chard or any other dark green leafy vegetable, but I haven’t done so myself. I tried this recipe on beet greens, and it turned out quite delicious.

What you need (be aware that kale cooks down a lot so this recipe only makes about 2 servings):

  • 1 bundle of kale, excess stem removed and cut into 1-inch wide strips
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup green onions
  • 2-3 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (plus a little extra to sprinkle on top)

What you need to do:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the garlic and green onions.
  2. Toss in the kale and cover. Let the kale sit, stirring occasionally, until it has cooked down and the leaves are closer to the consistency of wilted spinach.
  3. Add in the lemon juice and parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and evenly distributed.
  4. Serve in a bowl with a little extra cheese on top and enjoy!
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2 Responses to Sautéed Kale

  1. Sari says:


    I’ll sometimes saute kale with some variation of this blend:
    garlic (fresh or powder)
    black pepper
    paprika (sometimes I used smoked, sometimes hot)
    yellow curry powder

    At the end, sear in a splash of balsamic vinegar and a splash of soy sauce.

    Wow, that looks strange written out, but I promise it tastes good! 🙂

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