Sautéed Kale with Sumac Yogurt and Roasted Almonds
February 14, 2012
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).
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.
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.