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How to Make a Five-Minute Kale Side Dish

Helena Ricketts loves cooking from scratch and sharing her recipes with anyone who wants to try something new in the world of food.

The Five-Minute Kale Side Dish

Colorful, quick and yummy!

Colorful, quick and yummy!

The Health Benefits of Kale

Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. This underrated leafy vegetable is packed full of cancer and heart disease fighting vitamins and minerals. With 200% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, more than 1,000% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K and 5 grams of fiber per cup, you simply can not go wrong choosing this leafy green giant.

I used to be intimidated by kale. I'd stare at it out of the corner of my eye with curiosity at the grocery store but never went any further than that because I just didn't know how to cook it or what to do with it. How times have changed! I had always heard that kale is bitter when eaten raw. When I was in high school, kale is what the restaurant I worked in used to decorate their salad bar and no one ever ate it. To me, it was just a pretty salad bar decoration.

I had always heard that kale is bitter when eaten raw. When I was in high school, kale is what the restaurant I worked in used to decorate their salad bar and no one ever ate it. To me, it was just a pretty salad bar decoration.

This dish is excellent as I have it posted it here but there are other things that I have added to this over the years. Toasted pine nuts are an excellent addition along with mixing in a bit of garlic or other herbs from the garden. If it is a vegetable and shows up in your cold salad, you probably couldn't go wrong with adding it to this. The only thing that I can think of off of the top of my head that you wouldn't want to add in would be cucumbers. For some reason, warm cucumber just doesn't sound right.

This recipe changed my mind quickly. I got tired of being a coward when it came to kale and bought some after contemplating in my mind on how to cook it. So here is the five-minute kale side dish that literally changed my mind and outlook on kale. It's not just a decoration for salad bars anymore.

The beautiful kale side dish complimenting a dinner of parmesan polenta with garlic, capers and shrimp.

The beautiful kale side dish complimenting a dinner of parmesan polenta with garlic, capers and shrimp.

How Long Does it Take?

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

5 min

10 min

2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw kale
  • 1 carrot, I used an orange carrot but you can also use other colors
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, really just enough to coat the pan

A Note on Adding Other Vegetables to the Dish

One thing that is important to remember is the order that the vegetables are added into the dish. Vegetables like carrots, parsnips, leeks, kohlrabi and other vegetables that are harder will need to be added to the pan first because they will benefit from being in there the longest.

Wait until toward the end to add spinach, onions, capers, garlic and other vegetables that will become soggy or overcook easily. By doing it this way, you will have a crisp side dish that can make the taste buds so happy that they just might do a little dance.

How to Make a Kale Side Dish

  1. Cut all of your vegetables up into bite-size pieces. I used kale, carrots and green onion for this dish.
  2. Put the olive oil into the pan and turn the heat on medium.
  3. Heat the pan until the olive oil is hot.
  4. Add your carrots and allow them to cook for a few minutes. You don't want them soft, you want them to still have some crunch to them.
  5. Once the carrots have cooked for a couple of minutes, add the kale. Stir it around so the olive oil starts to coat the leaves. If you are using salt and/or pepper, you can do the first seasoning now.
  6. The last thing to add is the green onion. Again, you don't want anything mushy, just slightly cooked. At this point your kale will be a bright green, the carrots will have an extremely vivid color and after the green onion has been in the pan for a while, it will smell delicious.
  7. Only allow it to cook for a minute or two and then it is done!

© 2012 Helena Ricketts

Comments

carol stanley from Arizona on August 23, 2012:

I do something similar to this with other greens. Have only used kale in soup. I will try this as I love the healthy side of Kale.

mvaivata on March 13, 2012:

You know... I've been wanting to try kale in something other than... well... a salad. I will be making this up this weekend. Thank you!

Helena Ricketts (author) from Indiana on March 13, 2012:

Ooooh! I haven't tried it that way yet. I'm going to have to do that because I love bacon too and that sounds like a great combination!

FordeAhern from Broadford, Co. Limerick. ireland on March 13, 2012:

it sounds lovely. Thank you for writing about kale. I have eat it when it has been boiled with Bacon. It is lovely that way too. Voted interesting and book marking it.