Kale with Currants, Lemon and Olives

August 1, 2010

Aunt Suzy says

I love the sometimes circuitous path to a new recipe, especially one that turns out to be a taste treat.  Our path to this kale dish was that our upstairs neighbors went on vacation this week and left us with a huge bag of young kale.   True confessions – I have never cooked regular kale, preferring over the years Lacinato (also called Dino or Tuscan) kale.  And this is for a self-professed lover of cooked greens.  So I went looking for a recipe and found this one.  Randy and I agreed that this could become one of our staples.  It was fast and full of flavor surprises.  We had leftovers from the Shrimp and Vegetable Tagine and the two made for a great meal!   The quantities in this recipe are guidelines, so please adjust to your taste!

1/3 cup dried currants

2-3 bunches regular kale (totaling about 1 pound)

1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, thickly sliced and cut into half-moons

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, cover the dried currants with hot water.  Let stand at least 5 minutes, till softened, and then drain.

Wash the kale in a sink full of water.  Remove the center stems.  Place the leaves in a steamer and steam for 7-10 minutes, until tender.  The time can vary greatly depending on how old/young the kale is.  You might need to do this in two batches depending on how big of a steamer you have. 

Drain the kale in a colander.  When the kale is cool enough to handle, squeeze the liquid out by hand.  Shake to uncompress and then chop the kale into pieces, about 2×2 inches.   

In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat the olive oil and then add/melt the butter to bubbling.  Add the onion and cook over medium heat until pieces begin to brown a little, about 5 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and the cooked kale and stir to blend.  Cover and cook over moderate heat for about 3 minutes, stirring a few times, until the kale is hot and sizzling. 

Stir in the currants, olives, lemon zest and lemon juice and cook, stirring constantly, until heated through.  Salt and pepper to taste and serve. 

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