Long-Cooked Kale, Please (with Broth)

Oh sure, kale seems to have had its moment. And many in the past two years have declared that kale has passed its prime and has been replaced by watercress, insects, amaranth, or dulse. People have gotten kale overload, ever since kale got its own year (2012) at Bon Appetit and procured its own National Day (2013) with cringe-inducing Kaleabrations.

But I still like kale. Especially if it is cooked for a really long time. I admit, I can leave raw or massaged kale aside. I find it too bitter and chewy. (Plus, I experience envy, for I wish to be massaged before a meal, too.)  

No, my friends, no tough kale that requires masticating like a cud animal for me.  

I want my kale mellow and melting.

Enter David Tanis. 

There is not much to this dish, and that's the point. In Spain's response to the American South's long-braised collard greens comes this long-cooked kale with spicy chorizo and melted onions. 

May I recommend a rather liberal smattering of chile peppers on top, and then you, my friend, will have a simple dinner tonight. May I also recommend a triangle of well-toasted garlic bread? 

A couple of links that might tickle your fancy (because apparently I am channeling my deceased grandmother in saying that):

  • How did kale become so famous? The folks at mindbodygreen have some theories. Go check them out.
  • Want another long-cooked kale recipe because this one wasn't enough?  Try this one--I know I will.

So, let's keep it simple tonight, friends, and scoop up a bowl of long-cooked kale. Feel free to slurp the broth, or top toasted garlic bread with a heaping pile of kale. 

Either way, you'll be rethinking watercress or insects or whatever else will be stylish this year. We just want some good food.


Long Cooked Kale with Broth

Adapted From David Tanis' One Good Dish

4-6 Servings

2 lbs kale
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
½ lb Spanish chorizo, sliced
Large pinch of red pepper flakes
1 cup chicken broth
Sherry vinegar
Crusty bread, sliced


1. Cut the kale crosswise into 2-inch pieces, discarding particularly tough stems (although you can keep much of the central stalk, as you'll be cooking them for so long).  Wash twice in cold water and drain.

2.  Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary so that the onions don't over-brown. Add the chorizo and red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes more.

3.  Add the kale, sprinkling liberally with salt, then turn the heat to high and stir with a wooden spoon to help the greens wilt. Add chicken broth and continue to stir until it is simmering briskly. Cover and reduce the heat to low; it should be brothy--add more water if necessary. Cook the kale slowly, stirring occasionally, for about 45-60 minutes until very tender.

4.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper, adding a few drops of sherry vinegar. Serve with sliced crusty bread to sop up the broth.


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