But it wasn't until we received the amazing maple smoked bacon from the quarter pig we purchased this fall and our beautiful ragged jack kale plants began to produce that I realized I could and should COMBINE KALE AND BACON!!!
Other than the possibility that it might completely blow your minds, I could see no downside to "crossing the streams." After all, (almost) everything is better with bacon.
But what to make? I turned to one of my favorite go-to sources for recipe inspiration, Food Blog Search.
When I saw this recipe pop up from Nom Nom Paleo, my interest was piqued... According to Michelle at Nom Nom Paleo, she got the idea from Serious Eats' recipe for quick-cooked collard greens. My only adjustment was to add shallots (or onions) though you're welcome to skip them if you prefer.
The hearty, mineral-rich taste of the kale is really enhanced by the rich, smoky flavor of the bacon and the vinegar gives it even more depth and adds a nice a little zing. Now is the perfect time to make this with fresh kale popping up everywhere. And it's quick. And easy.
I served this with a simple herbed farro salad and some really great roasted sweet potatoes with butter and sea salt. I will be checking Google Analytics to see what you think :)
Quick Kale Sauté with Salty Bacon & Zingy Vinegar
Serves 4 as a side
* 1 bunch kale (about 1 pound)
* 1 large shallot or half an onion
* 3-4 slices center-cut bacon
* Splash of vinegar (aged balsamic, sherry or apple cider are all good choices)
* Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Wash the kale well (check for caterpillars...) Cut out the center ribs and add them to your veggie scraps for stock or compost them. Cut the leaves into thin strips and then slice them in the other direction to make it even smaller - you're only going to be cooking them briefly so you don't want to deal with any big pieces. Dice up the shallot or onion.
2. Cut the bacon into small pieces (did you know that bacon is really easy to cut when it's frozen?) Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat and then cook the bacon until crisp, adding the shallot or onion about halfway through and stirring as needed to ensure even cooking.
3. Add the kale and cook, stirring constantly until just wilted and bright green, one to two minutes. Add the cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust your seasoning if needed then turn off the heat and serve. And don't forget to clean your cast iron skillet properly!
You might also like:
- Maple-Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
- Wilted Kale Salad with Balsamic Vinegar & Orange Zest
- 14 Unbeatable Kale Recipes