Saturday, July 31, 2010

Leaves for Breakfast: Sauteed Kale with Egg and Toast

I am, I have to admit, a little stumped about kale.

First of all, it's one of those hippie vegetables. (Apologies if you are a kale-lover and/or a hippie. Nothing wrong with either one.) But I've always kind of had the impression that kale doesn't actually taste good, and that you eat it because you're a crazy health nut who drinks Smoothies of Unnatural Color and dines daily on wheat germ and hemp protein powder.

Second of all, I think it's related to cabbage, and I harbor a deep suspicion of cabbage dating back to an elementary school science pH experiment with boiled cabbage juice, vinegar, and baking soda.

Thirdly, having conquered my persistent conviction that any kale, once placed in a grocery basket, would sprout wheat germ arms and hemp protein legs when I wasn't looking, I bought some and brought it home, contemplated its pretty leaves, gazed at it searchingly, surfed online recipes, but found nothing particularly inspirational to do with it. We made it for dinner last night, but the non-kale ingredients outshone the kale and would have been better with a different leafy green. So, stumped and still working on it.

In the meantime, however, I had extra chopped kale in the fridge this morning, and threw together a breakfast that turned out to be surprisingly delicious and not very complicated to make. Which doesn't quite count as conquering the kale, since I set out to cook it for dinner, but does convince me that it has potential.

2 eggs, preferably from chickens who get to run around eating grass and things
2 slices of whole grain, not-too-many-ingredient bread, toasted
Olive oil
2-3 large handfuls of chopped red kale, rinsed well and dried in a salad spinner
1 large clove garlic, pressed
Salt, freshly ground black pepper, ñora pepper if you have it

Boil the eggs for 6 minutes or a few seconds longer (this will give you medium-boiled eggs, with a soft yolk but cooked white -- you could boil shorter or longer if you like, or poach them). Run under cold water for a few seconds and peel.

Meanwhile, saute the garlic with some olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the kale, cook for 2-3 minutes or until just wilted, and toss in some salt and pepper.

Spoon the kale over each piece of toast and top with an egg, then slice the egg into quarters, lengthwise, and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Serves 2.

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