If you have never cooked kale before, you may find it an intimidating prospect. In fact, there are several simple ways to cook kale, and some basic knowledge of these methods can help quell even the most apprehensive cook’s fears of this leafy green. The most common ways to cook kale include sautéing it, boiling it, and baking it.
No matter how you prefer to cook kale, you should begin with two preliminary steps. First of all, after you have pulled the individual kale leaves apart, you should wash them to remove all traces of sand and dirt which may be clinging to them. Secondly, you should cut away the stalk, or “spine,” which runs up the middle of each kale leaf, and which is usually too tough and bitter to eat. You can do this by folding the leaves in half lengthwise and then using a knife to trim away the stalk.
Once your kale has been prepped, you can begin to cook it. Sautéing is one of the most common ways to cook kale. This kale dish is made by chopping kale leaves and then adding them to a frying pan containing heated cooking oil. Often, cooks sauté an onion or some garlic in the pan before adding the kale to enhance the dish’s flavor. The kale is cooked in the frying pan until it takes on a vibrant green hue, and is often served topped with chopped bacon and vinegar.
You might also try boiling your kale. Usually, boiled kale is prepared by bringing a stockpot of water and vinegar to a boil. Chopped kale is then added to the pot and cooked until its color intensifies to a very strong green. Many cooks add ham or bacon to the cooking water to infuse the kale with extra flavor. Once cooked, the kale is drained and seasoned with vinegar, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
Finally, for a crispy snack or appetizer, you might try baking your kale. Baked kale is made by first chopping or tearing kale leaves into bite-sized pieces. Next, the leaves are tossed in cooking oil, sprinkled with seasonings such as salt, pepper, and dried garlic, and spread out on baking trays. The kale is then baked in the oven over a low temperature until it becomes crisp, a process that usually takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes.