Sauteed Kale with Garlic Scapes
Did anyone else make a resolution to eat more kale this year? I sure hope so! I have been seeing articles in magazines over the past few years identifying kale as one of the world’s healthiest foods because it is nutrient dense and low in calories. Raw kale is packed with even more than your recommended daily dose of Vitamins A, C and K along with a decent amount of other vitamins. It also offers protein and fiber without many calories.
Have you ever heard of garlic scapes? Scape is a botanical term for a flower that produces its own stem, think daylily. Garlic scapes are treasured by professional chefs for their mild, unique flavor which I like to describe as a combination between green onions and garlic. We are growing garlic at Eckert’s and we allow some of the garlic to flower and produce scapes which can then be used to give a variety of dishes interesting flavor.
My favorite way to eat kale is fresh-picked and removed from it's stems. To make the texture of raw kale a little gentler, I fill a large bowl with kale leaves and massage a teaspoon of olive oil and kosher salt into the leaves before dressing it with one of my homemade salad dressings. Last night however, I tried a new recipe for Sauteed Kale and I enjoyed it tremendously in a combined bite of steamed potatoes and shaved Parmesan cheese. I began by harvesting kale and garlic from our Pick-Your-Own Vegetable Garden at Eckert’s in Belleville. As usual, I picked more kale than I needed because the kale is so beautiful and fun to snip! After a good rinse and pat dry, I stored my extra kale in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator (it will be good for up to 2 weeks).
At the stove top, I sautéed garlic cloves and very thin slices of garlic scape in olive oil for a few minutes so that they could flavor of the olive oil. Then I added the wine and the kale in two batches, allowing it to reduce so that the whole bunch would fit in the skillet. After a few minutes and a taste test, I was ready to add the vinegar, salt and pepper. I then tossed the gorgeous bright green kale before removing it from the heat. Just before serving, I sprinkled a very light dusting of sugar. In my opinion, this step nicely tempers the bitterness of cooked kale.
To complete the plate, I served my sautéed kale with steamed potatoes, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and grilled chicken from our meat department. If you are looking for a healthy meal and an interesting way to enjoy fresh kale, give this recipe a try!
Eat well this summer, Angie
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 garlic scape, cut thin on an angle (stem only, not the bud at the tip)
½ cup dry white wine or water
1 large bunch of Eckert’s kale, stripped from the stems and chopped roughly, about 6 cups
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
granulated sugar, to taste
In a large sauté pan over medium, heat olive oil, garlic and garlic scapes for about 3 minutes. Add wine and half of kale, toss kale. After first half of kale has reduced, add remaining kale and toss gently. Cover pan and allow kale to reduce for 2-3 minutes. Note: If you start to see browning on the kale, turn off heat. Remove kale from heat and toss with vinegar, salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl and dust with sugar. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.