This Lemony Kale is possibly one of my most famous recipes ever! It solves two problems: how to make kale delicious and how to eat it more often.
Lemony kale! It has officially swept the Nation and I can’t tell you how much that makes my little kale-loving heart swell. When I learned of the nutritional POWERHOUSE that is kale, I made a deal with myself that I would do two things:
- Figure out a way to eat it that actually tastes REALLY GOOD.
- Find a way to plug it into my routine so I can enjoy it regularly.
You see, kale really is king of the veggie world. It contains more Vitamin A, C, and K than you can shake a stick at. But, it also has a reputation for being the worst kind of health food: chewy and without great flavor. Before I learned how to prepare lemony kale, I really thought: rabbit food.
Lemony kale got its official debut in my first book, Fed & Fit. While my dear friend Diane Sanfilippo and I were out on our combined book tour, I introduced her to the lemony kale. You see, I prefer this kale for (brace yourself) breakfast. I do! It’s light, bright, and (believe it or not) totally crave-able if prepared correctly.
What are the secrets to preparing kale that actually tastes REALLY GOOD? The following:
- Though curly kale is acceptable in a pinch, lacinato (or “dino”) kale is best. The texture of lacinato kale can’t be beat!
- Use a tasty cooking fat to start: bacon grease is my preference, but butter and ghee are great, too!
- DESTEM! Peel the leafy kale off the stem. Nobody, save for actual rabbits, enjoy eating those thick stems.
- Saute in your hot pan with cooking fat just until the kale wilts and reduces in size a bit. Undercooked = warm salad. Overcooked = better than undercooked, but not as good as perfectly cooked. This usually takes me about 3-4 minutes until it’s all bright green and a little droopy.
- Season with: SALT AND ACID. This is the most important part. You really need to season the kale with both salt and acid. I sprinkle mine with a pinch of sea salt and then (hence the name) I add a liberal amount of FRESH lemon juice.
This preparation method takes (maybe?) 5-7 minutes in total and BOOM, you have a health-packed side dish that actually tastes great.
The next part of my “let’s eat more kale riddle” was finding a way to plug it into my routine. That’s when BREAKFAST KALE was born! While lunch and dinner are sometimes a toss-up (maybe we’re dining out or want a specific dish), breakfast is highly consistent in our house. Adding a pile of lemony kale to our breakfast plates was easy and ensured that I enjoyed this chewable vitamin OFTEN.
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a large frying pan that has a matching lid. Add the greens, toss to coat in the butter, and cover to steam until wilted, about 5 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and salt and stir to combine with the wilted greens. Serve warm.