Greens get a bad rap.
People say they are tough and bitter, the leaves big and thick, ruffly and ribbed. Those of us not blessed with a southern upbringing look slightly cross-eyed at slow-cooked, grayish collards and kale, smoky with slab bacon and sharp with vinegar. (They are a taste well worth acquiring.) With today’s busy schedules, cooking greens for hours is, at best, relegated to a Sunday supper.
That’s why I love sautéing them, cooking them quickly. Cut into thin ribbons, they no longer have the mouthfeel of a new-mown lawn. Sweet dried fruit, plumped up in concentrated balsamic vinegar cuts the greens’ bitterness and brightens the flavor – as does a healthy pinch of salt and sugar with each batch you add to the pan.
If you hate kale, or have never tried it; if you’ve read about how healthy it is and thought, “so is tee-totalling, but I’m not about to start that,” this is the time to dig in. Enjoy!
Sautéed Kale with Dried Blueberries
You can substitute dried cherries or cranberries, and any good, aged balsamic vinegar will do, but the combination of dried blueberries from Agora Farms and the richly-flavored Blackberry Balsamic vinegar from Sapore, is magic.
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries*
- 1/4 cup Blackberry Balsamic vinegar*
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 pound kale, cut in thin ribbons
- 2 tsp sugar
*Though not the time to use your 25-year aged, you can substitute any other balsamic vinegar on your shelf. Other dried fruits like cherries and cranberries are great with this recipe.
- Warm vinegar and blueberries in a small saucepan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add shallot and sauté until softened 2-3 minutes.
- Turn heat to medium high and add kale in batches. Sprinkle each batch with a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt. Add more when the previous batch has started to wilt.
- Toss with blueberries and season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional Blackberry Balsamic vinegar.