Recipe A Day #4: Sauteed Kale in Coconut and Lime Sauce

A quick programming note: I'll run this week's Friday links post a bit later in the day today as we continue to plow through "Recipe A Day" June with yet another brand new recipe! 


I don't really like kale all that much, despite my eye doctor wife's insistence that it's great for my maculae. I mean, I'll eat it, but it's not something I, uh, look forward to, exactly.

"Woo hoo! Kale for dinner!!"
--something nobody ever says

But that was before I discovered this recipe, which is so good that it makes kale taste literally delicious. It's inspired by and slightly adapted from Rebecca Katz's amazing The Healthy Mind Cookbook, a cookbook we've already seen in this recipe-a-day trial: Seared Curried Scallops with Coconut Rice. Somehow the lime juice and coconut milk combine to add a sweet and tangy taste that compliments and completely cancels out the typically bitter taste of kale. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did.

Sauteed Kale in Coconut and Lime Sauce

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
About 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
One large bunch kale leaves, de-stemmed and chopped coarsely
a dash or two of salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons lime juice

1) Saute the minced ginger and garlic in oil for 1-2 minutes on medium-high heat.

2) Add kale, salt and black pepper, and continue to saute for 3-4 minutes until the kale wilts and turns a deep rich green color

3) Add coconut milk and lime juice and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Serve over white or brown rice, pouring remaining juices from the pan over the rice.

Serves 2-3 as a side dish, serves 2 as a main dish.

Recipe Notes:
1) Use more kale than you think you need. It really cooks down. You might start with a heaping mountain of chopped kale, but it will cook down to something like 1/5 the volume once fully cooked. If in doubt, jam more kale leaves in the pot!

2) Shared ingredients: Take another look at the other day's Seared Curried Scallops with Coconut Rice, but this time pay particular notice to the ingredients shared with today's recipe. Surprise! You've stumbled onto a great time- and money-saving cooking tip: Whenever you see a recipe you like and decide to cook it, try to find one or two other recipes that share the same ingredients. These two recipes both have ginger, lime juice and coconut milk in common. This saved me from having to waste a portion of the coconut milk (the Scallops recipe called for one cup, this recipe used up the remainder), and it allowed me to get extra mileage out of a chunk of fresh ginger and a container of lime juice.

3) Variations: As written above, this dish makes an exceptionally easy and really good side dish. But you can vary this dish just slightly, say by adding a can of chickpeas or white beans, and voila, you've got a very filling, fully vegan main dish. Also, consider variations with spicing: add cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the first step (sauteing the ginger and garlic in oil) and you've got a version with a spicy kick. Add a little turmeric for a rich yellow color. And so on. If you can think up any variations of your own, please share them in the comments!

4) Kale changes color: One of the striking things about cooking Kale is how it changes from a grayish green to an incredibly rich dark green color as it cooks. The two photos below, both unretouched and taken within minutes of each other, give you a sense of the radical change:

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Marcia said...

I love kale! I say yay to Kale chips for dinner!

This recipe looks fab though. So did yesterday's. I get a lot of kale from our CSA.

Daniel said...

One of these days I've simply GOT to run a kale chips recipe here. Thanks for the prompt Marcia!


Juli said...

"Woo hoo! Kale for dinner!!"
--something nobody ever says

Hahahahha, actually, that's me!! All the time!! I have an insane amount of gleeful love for kale. :P

I will definitely have to try this recipe, as it sounds delicious!! Thank you!! :D

I also like how you pointed out the common ingredients in the two recipes. That would actually be a really helpful post as well! Perhaps, after your month of recipes, you could create a list of recipe pairs/bundles that you discovered/made throughout the month?

Daniel said...

Thanks Juli, that's a solid idea. I'm thinking there will be quite a few insights and conclusions I can share with readers after this month of new recipes is over, so I'll see what I can come up with!