As a teenager, I worked as a waitress for Shoney’s Big Boy Restaurant. You know the one where the logo is a chubby boy with red checked overalls, holding a burger up high like it’s a torch. Other than the logo and their Hot Fudge Cake, they are(were) known for their salad bar. The salad bar was the bain of my existence…On nights that I closed, I was responsible for breaking it down and cleaning it up. It was awful! One of those duties was to take care of the kale garnishes. The kale garnishes were comprised of a large kale leaf topped with an orange slice and a cherry and a skewer to hold it all together. To me, kale was a hard, almost plastic leaf that lasted for about a week on the salad bar.
You cannot imagine my surprise when I found out that people actually ate this stuff. After researching recipes last year, I decided to experiment with kale…I say experiment because that’s exactly what it would be. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. So, if you haven’t tried kale, ease into it with this recipe.
Sauteed Kale with Cherry Tomatoes
1 Bunch of Kale, picked*, washed and cut into thin strips
1 package cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
*To pick kale, remove the hard center stem. You can do this by stripping it away by hand or, running a sharp knife along each side of the stem.
In a large pot, bring 4 quart of salted water to a boil. Add prepared kale, when kale come to a boil, cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Drain immediately and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high, add pepper flakes, garlic and tomatoes. Allow to cook until tomato skins begin to “pull”. Add kale and saute until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.