I took an extra eggplant and some apples from the share box. I am going to try baba ganoush with the eggplant this week. I still need to pickle peppers. Of course, my daughter keeps asking if I have a “peck” of peppers to pickle, and truthfully I don’t know. How much is a peck? I’ll look that up later. 🙂
That night, I had been dreaming of some sort of a savory apple dish and decided to give it a go. After preheating the oven to about 375°, I chopped unpeeled apples, and diced onion (actually left over onion lime salsa from the carne asada), and spread that in a 9″ x 9″ baking pan coated with cooking spray. Over that, I sprinkled dried sage (1T.), cinnamon (1/2 t.) and (1/2 t.) nutmeg and stirred to combine. On top of that, I placed chicken breasts that had been salted and peppered.
I popped that in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes while I cooked the kale.
I’m getting pretty comfortable with using greens, so I thought I could try cooking the kale like we do cabbage, braising it with chicken stock. I heated about 1/2 T. olive oil in a large non-stick pan and cooked about 1/2 t. minced garlic and chopped bell peppers (for color). I rinsed and chopped the whole bundle of kale and added it to the pan, with about 1/4 c. chicken stock and covered the pan.
I allowed the kale to cook, stirring occasionally for a few minutes. Then I tasted the kale to see if it was getting tender. Not only was it not tender yet, it was really bitter! I panicked, trying to figure out how I might cut the bitterness. I thought I could sweeten it with maple syrup or honey, but since the apples would be pretty sweet, I didn’t want dinner to become desert. I finally decided to add about 1-2 T. raw sugar (whatever was left in the bag), tossed that and cooked until the kale was tender. It was still a bit bitter, but I figured the kids would mix it with the apples to cut the bitterness.
It made a lovely dinner on the plate, the chicken was moist and the savory apples delicious.
We did end up mixing the kale and the apples on our plate and trying to achieve a perfect mix of apple to greens ratio on each forkful so we weren’t left with the taste of bitter at the end of the meal.
Later, I remembered that there were some Chinese dishes that specifically called for bitter greens. Next time I am faced with unusually bitter kale, I will try to find those.