Monday, January 14, 2008

Sautéed Kale With Pancetta And Shiitake Mushrooms

In keeping with my less-is-more baby-step resolution number two, here is a light yet filling plate of healthy greens and fiber-filled lentils. The kale is sautéed until the stalks are just tender, leaving the leafy part with a bit of substance. The crisp pancetta and the softly sautéed shiitakes give interesting texture. I usually cook my own lentils but these organic, ready-cooked babies from Trader Joe's make putting dinner on the table a snap. Just heat them and serve. Perfect after a day at work.

Sautéed Kale with Pancetta and Shiitake Mushrooms
Christine's original recipe
1 large bunch kale lacinato, washed (see Cook's Notes)
4 ounces pancetta, diced
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup vegetable broth
juice from 1/2 of a Meyer lemon
small amount of olive oil for the pan, if needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Brown the pancetta in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Remove to paper towels to drain and set aside.
Saute the mushrooms in the pancetta drippings in the same skillet until softened. Add the garlic and saute until the aroma comes up and the garlic is softened.
Tear or cut the kale into medium-sized pieces and throw into the skillet with the mushrooms and garlic. Stir to coat with the oil.
Add the vegetable broth and simmer until the kale has softened but still holds its shape and all the liquid has evaporated from the skillet.
Remove the skillet from the heat and squeeze the lemon juice over the kale. Toss lightly and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired.
Sprinkle the kale with the crispy pancetta and serve.

Cook's Notes:
Kale is one of the world's healthiest foods with some studies claiming strong anti-cancer properties.
Kale is growing in my winter garden right now and will be ready to cut as the days get longer, hopefully by March.

Copyright © 2005-2008, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved