Russian Kale

I’m so glad the farmers markets are open again! I was so happy wandering around there on Saturday, even if not much is in season yet. (Half of the offerings seemed to be seedlings, or vegetables in progress.) I managed to fill my basket nonetheless:

One of the things I picked up was kale, but I wasn’t sure what kind of kale until I got home and did some research. It’s Russian kale, a gentler, more delicate variety.

Russian Kale

1 bunch Russian kale
1 small onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
red chili flakes, to taste
wine or broth to deglaze the pot
your favorite salt or seasoning salt, to garnish

Thinly slice the onion, and mince or press the garlic.

Wash and chop the kale.

Heat some olive oil in a pot, then add the onion …

… and saute until soft, then add the garlic and red chili flakes and cook another minute or two.

If necessary, add some white wine or broth to deglaze the pot.

Add kale …

… and cook, stirring, until wilted and cooked down a bit.

Continue to cook until the kale is soft and about a third of its original volume.

I bought Bacon Salt (the Hickory flavor is vegan) this weekend, which I thought I would try on the kale. If you don’t want to buy it, Bryanna has a recipe for it (of course she does; she has a recipe for everything!). I actually made Bryanna’s Friday night, so it’s kind of weird I found the real thing on Saturday. Anyway, it was pretty fun on the kale, but I don’t usually think vegetables need to or should taste like bacon, so by all means use your favorite regular salt, or whatever seasoning salt you like.

What’s absolutely amazing about this kale is Mark liked it. He doesn’t even know he ate kale; I guess he’ll be finding out when he reads this post. He never would have eaten if if I’d told him what it was, and in fact, I made asparagus as well figuring he wouldn’t touch the kale. When he asked what “the green stuff” was I told him it was “delicious yumminess,” which somehow convinced him to put a small amount of it on his plate. After eating the few bites he put on his plate, he excused himself while we were watching television to go upstairs and get a big helping of “the green stuff”! And he did! He went all the way up there and got a huge portion of it, all of which he ate! Russian kale, I love you!

I served this with glazed “ham”, but I can’t share the ham recipe because it started out as a disaster yesterday! I rescued it and ended up with something edible, but it was a mess at first. The glaze is the zest and juice of a tangerine, some agave nectar, champagne vinegar, and a touch of oil, whisked together, then poured over the “ham” slices, which had been studded with whole cloves. Baked at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, covered, for 45 minutes.

My little Tortellini:


  1. Josiane Said,

    May 9, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

    Russian kale? One more variety of kale for me to love – yay! It’s good to know that people who aren’t fans of kale enjoy it too: that might help me get my CSA farmers to grow some (they don’t grow kale because they’re kind of worried not enough people would like it… I’d gladly take it all off their hands, but that’s not how it works!).

  2. renae Said,

    May 9, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    Josiane, you should try to convince the farmers to try Russian kale, it does seem more approachable than regular kale. It was almost more like Swiss chard than kale. I’m not even sure I would have known it was kale if it hadn’t been labelled as such.

  3. FoodFeud Said,

    May 9, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

    I haven’t seen that variety of kale around! I’ll have to look at the market. The ham also sounds pretty interesting. The “meat” itself is seitan-based?

  4. renae Said,

    May 9, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

    FoodFeud, yes, the “ham” was seitan. I’m still working on perfecting my “ham” recipe, and whatever I did on Saturday was NOT IT. It turned out well in the end, but things went horribly awry in the middle!

  5. Jes Said,

    May 10, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

    Beautiful kale! I’m digging the markets being open too–so nice to have fresh produce again 🙂

  6. Lisa Goldstein Kieda Said,

    May 10, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

    Delicious yumminess!?! Love it, love it!

  7. Ruth Said,

    May 11, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

    That looks like a lot more than 1 small onion and 1 bunch of kale.

  8. Debbie Said,

    September 17, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

    One note: As we eat all kinds of kale up here in the land of the Midnight Sun, please pick the stem & center membrane from the kale you’re cooking. It is very bitter. We have lots of it already canned for the winter. Delicious!

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