Cathie Campbell

Don’t forget the kale

Years ago, I shared some recipes that featured kale, but now that I have some just about every day, I got to thinking maybe I should share some more. I appreciate that I can easily find ready-to-eat, washed and chopped kale, organic or non-organic.

I don’t mind admitting that I try to avoid washing and spinning greens, especially bunches of spinach that might have a lot of sand. Give me simple to prepare and I am a happy cook.

I need to lose weight for health reasons, so I am doing my best to eat healthier. I know my columns don’t always qualify as healthful recipes, but I do give a try now and then. If you are a kale fan, it is my hope that you find one or more recipes here that you would like to try out.

Cat’s kale scramble for one

This is what I start my day with, usually every morning or perhaps more like a brunch time.

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

1/8 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (I use Knorr brand)

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh cleaned kale, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 medium or large fresh mushroom, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste *see note

*Note: I use McCormick Garlic Sea Salt Grinder, Watkins Garlic Peppercorn Blend Grinder and Watkins Chicken Seasoning Grinder, but you can use whichever seasonings you prefer.

Dash or two of Louisiana hot sauce, optional

1. In small bowl, scramble the egg with water and bouillon granules; set aside.

2. In medium skillet, heat olive oil, then add the vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.

3. Pour egg mixture evenly over vegetables and stir to coat. Cook until egg is set, then season to taste. Serve with a dash of hot sauce if you like. Makes 1 serving.

Kale salad with apples, pancetta and candied pecans

You can purchase candied pecans to make things easier.

2 cups pecans

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, finely diced

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons caper brine (from jar of pickled capers)

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Freshly ground black pepper

2 Granny Smith apples, cut into matchsticks

1 large head radicchio, shredded

1 8-oz. bunch kale, stems discarded, leaved finely shredded

3 tablespoons snipped chives

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon (I usually omit)

2 ounces shaved pecorino cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350. Place the pecans in a sieve and run water over them, allowing the excess to drain off. In a bowl, blend the confectioners' sugar, cayenne and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Add the pecans and toss. Transfer to a sieve and shake off the excess coating. Arrange the pecans on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the sugar is lightly caramelized and the pecans are golden.

2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the pancetta is browned, about 6 minutes. Strain the pan drippings into a large bowl; whisk in the vinegar, caper brine and maple syrup and season the dressing with salt and black pepper. Add the apples, radicchio, kale, chives, tarragon and pecorino, then toss to coat well. Place servings of the salad on plates, garnish with the pecans and pancetta and serve. Makes 20 to 12 servings.

Braised kale

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer)

3 pounds kale, stems and inner ribs discarded, leaves coarsely chopped

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a very large soup pot or kettle, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. (Be very careful not to burn the garlic or everything will be ruined.) Add the chicken stock, then add the kale in large handfuls, letting it wilt slightly before adding more. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook over moderate heat until the kale is tender, about 5 or 6 minutes.

2. Remove the pot lid and continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl and serve. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Portuguese kale and linguica soup

This soup's flavor is even better the next day. You can add some cooked white beans to the soup if you wish.

2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

3/4 cup chopped carrot

1/4 cup olive oil

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups water

3/4 pound linguica, sliced 1/4-inch thick

3/4 pound kale, stems removed, leaves rolled and thinly sliced, then chopped

1 pound red potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces

1. In a large pot, saute the garlic, onion and carrot in olive oil over medium heat,

stirring until soft; do not brown. Add russet potatoes, water and broth, bring to a boil and then simmer until potatoes are soft (10 to 15 minutes).

2. While the potatoes are simmering, cook linguica in a skillet over medium to high heat, browning on both sides. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

3. Transfer cooked potato mixture to a blender using a slotted spoon, add 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid and puree until smooth (hold cover tightly, covered with a kitchen towel). Return puree to the pot and add linguica, kale, and the red potatoes. Simmer, covered for 10 to 15 minutes until potatoes are done. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper, being careful with the salt if salted broth was used.