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Friday, October 14, 2011

Random Food Fridays - Crumbly Greens

Well, folks, pesto is making an appearance in the third RFF recipe in a row. When you have a big jar of pesto in the fridge, you've got to use it, right? Pesto ended up in this recipe because I used up all my garlic making the pesto last weekend. This recipe usually calls for garlic, but it got a couple of tablespoons of pesto instead. I have to say, this substitution was a lucky discovery.

This recipe is adapted from Laurel's Kitchen. This is a great book for working delicious variety into your vegetable preparations. Veggies can shine as the star of a meal. As we've moved towards a more healthy diet, I have tended to spend my creative efforts more on the side dishes than the proteins. Also, Mr. Dwayne, who would never eat plain, steamed kale, loves this dish. I predict that you will convert your greens haters with this one! I've tried this with a few different kinds of greens, but steamed curly kale is my favorite here. Kale is tender, but still has a good bite. Kale has less moisture than many other greens and the curly edges of the leaves capture the crumb topping and become nice and crispy.

Crumbly Greens (Susan Style)
3 tablespoons olive oil

1 shallot, chopped
2 tablespoons pesto or 2 cloves garlic, minced

2 (packed) cups steamed kale (stemmed and coarsely chopped before steaming)
3 pieces of fresh whole wheat bread
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, well seasoned, cast iron pan. Add the shallots and saute until slightly softened (about 3 minutes). Add the pesto and stir to combine with the shallots. Add the kale and stir to combine. Place the bread in a food processor and add a good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse until the bread is broken down into coarse crumbs. Add to the kale mixture and toss to coat. If your cast iron pan is not well seasoned, you may need to add a little more oil if the bread crumbs begin to stick. Allow the crumb-coated kale to brown for 2-3 minutes before each tossing with a spatula. The longer you cook it, the more crispy it will become.

Serves 2 to 3 as a spectacular side dish.

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