I had never bought kale before - I'd eaten it at vegetarian restaurants a few times and had never enjoyed it all that much. Then last week I bought a take-out meal at a new organic grocery store in my area - the meal included a small portion of kale. It was delicious and turned out to be my favourite part of the meal. I looked on the internet for a recipe that looked similar to what I'd eaten. I found the recipe below which is similar - the flavour is not as intense. After tasting, I added a few other ingredients - hot sauce (sambal oelek), Bragg's seasoning, rice vinegar and a few drops of umeboshi vinegar. It was very tasty. It did need a bit more 'sour' and I think I'd add some lemon next time. The other thing I might do differntly is to use only a small amount of olive oil to start the cooking process and save the sesame oil for garnish - I think the sesame lost some of its flavour when it was added at the beginning.
The interesting thing about kale - like spinach, a huge bunch cooks down to almost nothing. But unlike spinach, it maintains a lot of body - at fist I wasn't sure I liked the texture, but after eating it cooked in this style a couple of times now, I find I really like the texture. It is certainly worth trying and experimenting with the seasoning.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound kale (about bunch)
2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Salt and pepper, if desired
1. Mince the garlic cloves. Wash the kale and shake it over the sink. It should remain a little wet. Remove and discard the stems from the kale and tear it into bite-size pieces. Save the stems for another use, such as vegetable stock.
2. Heat the sesame seed oil in the skillet over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic to the hot oil and sauté for about 20 seconds. Add the kale and water to the garlic and oil, and cover the skillet.
3. After 1 minute, stir the kale, then re-cover. After 1-2 more minutes, when the kale is wilted, stir in the soy sauce and sesame seeds. If desired, add salt and/or pepper to taste.