Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, please welcome, for the very first time on this humble little blog … kale!
Kale has become an incredibly popular staple for healthy eaters over the past couple of years, and rightly so. It’s chock full of vitamins and minerals, and can be prepared in any number of ways.
For those of you who haven’t managed to incorporate this superfood into your diet, and are perhaps a little wary of this leafy green with its curly, tough texture, here’s a recipe that might help you open your arms (mouth?) to kale. Sure, it’s not the healthiest thing you could eat, but it is delicious, and it’s tangible proof that, as the great Bob Belcher once said, there’s nothing wrong with kale.
The only real changes I made to this recipe found on food52 were scaling the measurements back a bit, and using curly kale instead of dinosaur kale, because that’s what my grocery store had. Be forewarned – I halved the original amount of red pepper flakes and the potatoes still had a definite kick. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, I’d dial it back even more. Personally, I thought the potatoes had just enough heat, and I’m probably a middle-of-the-road spicy fan.
This side is vegetarian-friendly, although next time I make them, I might have to incorporate a little bacon. ‘Cause, y’know, that’s just kind of how I roll.
Twice-baked potatoes with kale (from food52)
2 large baking potatoes
1 bunch kale, tough stems discarded and leaves roughly chopped (my bunch probably yielded about 3-4 cups pre-cooking)
1/3 cup diced shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheese (I used white cheddar)
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Poke your potatoes all over with a fork, then heat in the microwave for 15 minutes, turning every five minutes.
While your potatoes are in the microwave, chop your kale and heat about two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add your shallots and red pepper flakes and cook until the shallots soften, about five minutes. Add your garlic and cook about two to three minutes more. Next, add your kale, salt and pepper, and make sure the leaves are coated in olive oil (you will probably need to add more – I didn’t measure when I did this – sorry, guys!). Cover and let it cook until the kale is wilted, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and chop until paste-like – I used a food processor for this, to make sure I didn’t have any large chunks left in the mix.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and scoop out the insides, placing them in a large mixing bowl. If you find your potatoes aren’t soft enough yet, throw them in the microwave for another few minutes. Oh, and while you’re scooping, be gentle – you don’t want to rip the skins or anything.
Once gutted (hah), your potatoes should have about 1/4 inch of filling and skin left.
Add your sour cream, cheese and kale paste-mixture-stuff to the bowl with your potatoes and mix thoroughly until combined. Scoop the fillings into your potatoes. Set aside any leftover filling. (yay, leftovers!) Put your potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.
Now, I know this side dish is vegetarian friendly, but I have to admit that it pairs awfully well with some nice (organic!), marinated London broil.