by Kelly on September 1, 2012   

Lisa’s beautiful kitchen garden in Mosier, Oregon — see the amazing blue-green kale peeking out from behind the tomatoes?

Just returned from a stay in the Columbia River Gorge where we played all day in the spectacular surroundings and cooked all night from the most wonderful supply of local ingredients. It’s a big beer-brewing area, too, so that didn’t hurt! The house where we were staying had a lush kitchen garden, surrounded by a big deer fence, of course, given the area. In abundance were tomatoes and kale, the popular kid on the block. We used kale almost every evening, and more would be there in the morning, just like that. It looked like this:

As the leaves remain on the plant they turn a wonderful gray-green — new growth is deep blue-green but the leaves all turn a uniform color by the time you get them up to the kitchen

I made one simple dish that was decidedly worth repeating, and that’s the one I’m posting here. The kale in Lisa’s garden is Tuscan kale, also called cavolo nero, lacinato or dinosaur kale. I also love it roasted, which I do here. There were also fat onions, bursting out of the ground, and several pots of cherry tomatoes which we ate like grapes at a Roman feast.

Things just plucked from the ground are almost impossible to make taste anything but perfect

Sautéed Kale with Onions and Cherry Tomatoes

This is one of those “recipes” that is not a recipe at all — no precise ingredients, just go for it.

Tuscan kale, about 3 leaves per person
Olive oil
Sweet onion, quartered and sliced, about 1/4 for 2 people
Cherry tomatoes, about 3 per person, halved
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Trim the bottom inch of stem from the kale, rinse and pat dry. Slice crosswise into 1/2 inch ribbons.

So easy to rinse kale because the moisture just beads up and runs off

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and wilt the sliced onions with a little salt for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat.

They should be soft and golden, not over brown

Add the kale and continue cooking another 3 to 5 minutes, until the kale is wilted and bright green.

Toss the kale as it cooks to wilt it evenly — it should be tender but retain some crunch

Add the cherry tomatoes and sauté until they are just drooping and tender, about a minute or two.

The tomatoes will cook quickly

They should release their juices and wilt slightly

Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and serve.

I could eat this every day, and when I grow kale in my garden, I will!

You can just taste the sunshine.

Kelly McCune © 2012
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Barry Franklin September 12, 2012 at 9:34 am

Thanks Kelly. We’ll try it. This is quite good: http://www.foodista.com/recipe/7KXMVBZB/marinated-kale-salad

Preston Mitchell December 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Thanks so much for linking to my family’s site (Berridge Farms). I do think you should take a look at the other business you recommended though (hatchnm.biz also dba nmchili.com). We receive tons of complaints about their service and they have an F rating at the BBB. I wouldn’t encourage people to order from them.


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