Top | late winter

garlic-braised kale

(recipe, Sarah Gilbert)

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this recipe is more formula than recipe, but you'll need it if you have a CSA, or if you like to shop at the farmer's market outside of June, July and August and September.


  1. 2 Tbsp. olive oil, bacon fat, lard, or butter
  2. several cloves of garlic
  3. kale (or any sturdy leafy green)
  4. salt, pepper and hot pepper to taste
  5. 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (if desired)
  6. 1 Tbsp. butter (if desired)


  1. Rinse your kale well in cold water, shaking off moisture as much as possible.
  2. Chop kale roughly, removing and composting the bottom of thicker, fibrous stems (or chopping them more finely if you're not into wasting things). Set aside.
  3. Peel and roughly chop garlic (I usually just smash the cloves with the side of my chef's knife, pull off the peels, and run my knife through them really quickly; four or five pieces per clove).
  4. In cast-iron skillet or other large, wide-bottomed braising pan, heat fat over medium-high heat.
  5. Add garlic and salt and pepper and stir for 30-60 seconds.
  6. Add chopped kale and stir well to coat.
  7. Cook, monitoring temperature to avoid burning and stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes, until greens begin to get crispy and tender. Take a taste; you should be able to chew without having to struggle, and get a little caramelly sweetness from the garlic and the high heat.
  8. If desired, stir in a little vinegar (I like balsamic) and a tablespoon of butter, and adjust seasoning before serving.
  9. If you can't eat it all in one sitting, refrigerate and toss into soups, pasta, sandwiches (grilled cheese is perfect), and other vegetable dishes all week.