Sautéed Kale with Sumac Yogurt and Roasted Almonds

by formerchef on February 14, 2012

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I’ve always said “I don’t like cabbage.” At least I thought I didn’t, until I had this dish. I am now a convert.

I’m still not a huge fan of regular head cabbage. I’ve never understood the allure of traditional cole slaw, brussles sprouts (I don’t care how you roast them or how much bacon you add) and I don’t particularly care for kimchi. If that means my foodie card will be revoked, so be it.

But I’ve always liked my sauteed greens. Give me spinach, swiss chard, or beet greens and I’m a happy girl.  Put napa or savoy cabbage in my stir fried noodles and I’ll slurp it up. I’ve always associated kale with “cabbage” and therefore thought I didn’t like it. I was wrong. I think the “kale is healthy” craze of the last couple of years and the abundance of kale chips, kale soup and kale smoothie recipes just put me off.

Let me tell you, this ain’t your hippy-mama kale. This is an “where have you been all my life” and “I could eat this every night”  kale dish.

So how did I convert to the cult of kale? I ate a version of this dish at work one day and it completely won me over. My version is more inspired by middle east flavors than the original, with the addition of sumac, lemon and almonds but feel free to adjust to your taste. Leave the yogurt plain, or season it with other spices (smoked paprika, chipotle chile, or nutmeg would be interesting too) and try different nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, or pecans would also be good choices).

Ingredient Notes:

  • There are different kinds of kale out there and if you can find “cavolo nero” kale (also known as black Tuscan kale) at your local farmer’s market or Whole Foods, buy some. It’s more expensive, but worth it for its more delicate flavor and texture. You can also buy regular old green kale, or even bagged pre-washed and chopped kale from Trader Joe’s as I often do. If you buy kale in a fresh bunch, you’ll want to cut off the tougher stems and chop the leaves into 2″-3″ pieces and thoroughly rinse.
  • The sumac spice is not essential but it does add a nice citrusy flavor profile and a bit of color to the yogurt.
  • I used nonfat yogurt, but for a richer texture, try a full fat Greek style yogurt.
  • Try not to leave out the butter; it adds a delicious creaminess to the kale.

Sautéed  Kale with Sumac Yogurt and Roasted Almonds
Printable recipe in PDF for Sauteed Kale with Yogurt and Almonds 

10 oz cleaned and chopped kale
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup water
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 fresh lemon (for the juice or 1 Tbsp juice)
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp honey
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground sumac (optional)

2 Tbsp roasted almonds, sliced

1. Mix together the yogurt, honey, lemon juice and sumac spice. Set aside. Slice the almonds.

2. Heat a large saute pan (I use a wok). Add the kale and it in the oil. Add 1/2 cup of the water and toss. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the other 1/2 cup of water and cook until the water has evaporated.

3. Clear a space in the bottom of the pan and add the butter and garlic. Saute one minute and then stir into the cooked kale.

4. Squeeze in the 1/4 of a lemon and season with salt and pepper.

5. Transfer the kale to a serving dish and drizzle the yogurt over the top. Sprinkle the almonds on top of the yogurt.

Serves 4 as a side dish


1 ck February 14, 2012 at 10:17 pm

I’m so going to try this, as soon as possible, thank you for sharing it. I am addicted to Cavolo Nero, which I have almost daily with French green lentils and as a recent (and planned to be lifelong now) vegetarian, I have been wondering what other dishes I can make with it as it is so good. Good stuff!

2 formerchef February 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm

It is addicting, isn’t it? I feel like I’m spreading the kale gospel now. 🙂

3 Jacqueline February 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Desperately want to make that bread. Like nobody’s business.

4 Kent @ No Vacation Required February 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Looks great. What timing – we just fell in love with kale so have been keeping it around. Seasoning the yogurt sounds like a fantastic idea. I vote for nutmeg.

5 john February 18, 2012 at 9:04 pm

We love Kale and do a lot of stir fry with it. Just love the stuf…

6 Jenn @LeftoverQueen February 21, 2012 at 8:34 am

This looks delicious! I love sauteed kale, we eat it a few times a week. This looks like a great addition to the repertoire!

7 Renz February 27, 2012 at 5:44 am

I really love eating vegetables, and this one is truly delicious as it dress on its unique menu…

8 Coline @mytradingblog March 1, 2012 at 4:58 am

There’s nothings else I want for with these delicious and nutritious dish…

9 Patricia March 1, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Love the yogurt and almonds. They definitely did a great job making the meal more exciting. Let us all enjoy eating healthy. Thank you for this recipe.

10 SarahKate March 15, 2012 at 2:16 am

Wow! Just when I thought I might be getting tired of kale! That looks brilliant. I love the idea of the yoghurt. Will be making this soon.

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