Simple Goodness

Tuscan Kale

When I walked past the Roots Farm table at the Wintertime Farmers’ Market on Saturday, this kale literally stopped me in my tracks. Now, I love my greens, but really, this bunch looked just perfect. And it was the last one in the bin, so I grabbed it. I knew I wanted to make this kale a major component of a meal, and that’s just what I did last night, combining it with a few simply prepared and richly flavorful sidekicks: Jacob’s Cattle beans, slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, and garlic confit.

While my beans simmered away, I prepped the kale, removing the tough stem ends and slicing the leaves into thin ribbons. I got out a wide sauté pan and added a spoonful or two of the infused oil from the garlic confit I made on Sunday, plus a pinch of red chile flakes. I tossed the kale in when the oil was shimmering, sprinkled on a pinch of salt, and tossed it all around. When the kale was a deep, glossy green, I pulled it out of the pan and put it in a serving bowl.


Then I added a cup or so of the intensely sweet slow-roasted tomatoes I also made on Sunday, plus 4 or 6 of my confited garlic cloves. I cooked them just long enough to warm them through, then turned off the heat, added a splash of champagne vinegar, and swirled it around in the pan. I drained the cooked beans, added them to the kale, then poured the tomato-garlic mixture over the top. It got a gentle toss before I spooned it into our bowls, and I finished each serving with some shards of Parmagiano Reggiano.

Dinner:  December 7, 2009

Simple. Hearty. Delicious.

8 thoughts on “Simple Goodness

  1. Julia says:

    Jen, that is really inspiring. I live in RI, so reading about your food I always feel a strange extra connection with it (like, “I could have bought that kale!”). And actually, in this case it’s even better because kale is the one thing sticking up out of the snow in my back yard right now… Thank you so much!

  2. Jennifer Hess says:

    Lydia – Aw, thanks 🙂

    Julia – It amazes me how much good food there is to be had still here in RI in the winter! We’re so lucky to live amidst such bounty.

    Marie and Mary – Oh, you two. Thank you.

  3. Jennifer Hess says:

    Thanks, Elizabeth! The tomatoes and garlic confit were simple – tomatoes on a sheet pan, 2 hours in a 275 degree oven. The confit was the cloves from a couple of big heads of garlic, peeled and just covered with olive oil, in the oven alongside the tomatoes for about an hour and a half. Good luck and have fun!

  4. Thanks for the more detailed recipe–I was just looking things over to devise my plan. The tomatoes and garlic are in the oven and I’m really looking forward to a fortifying meal on this chilly night.

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