I cannot remember when I learned kale was a “superfood” but it was definitely within the last 5-7 years. Since then whenever people talk about “eating whole foods” kale is always mentioned and people hold out their love for kale as proof that they eat healthy. It is truly amazing what hype and publicity can do for something (or someone) because now kale is ubiquitous, and not simply in the conventional grocery stores as garnish in the deli cases!
The fun thing about kale’s popularity is that farmers have explored different varieties. There’s the curly kale (of display case notoriety), Russian kale with its purple tinges, and Lacinto or Tuscan kale (my favorite) just to name a few. The different textures of these varieties allow for a wide range of uses. Curly kale is the best kale for baked kale chips since its ruffles capture olive oil and salt so well and bake up into crispy healthy treats. Russian kale is a less dense leaf that requires less cooking and is a good substitute for spinach in the Japanese sauce of Gommae. Tuscan or Lacinto kale has a texture in between the other two and can stand up to scrambled eggs or fritatas as well as being added to vegetable stir frys.
In this dish I used the curly kale and made what is a quick and simple dish, but loaded with wonderful flavor and the satisfying green taste of good fresh kale.
8-10 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch curly kale, destemmed, chopped well
Place large pot over high heat and when you can feel the heat above the pan add oil and allow to heat for 1/2 minute. Add garlic and stir fry 1 minute until you begin to smell garlic. Add kale and toss to absorb oil for 1 minute. As kale begins to wilt add 2 tablespoons of water and cook until all of water is gone and kale is wilted but garlic is just beginning to brown. Remove from heat and serve immediately or serve at room temperature.