It's true. I love kale. Few are the days when there is not a bunch of it in the fridge (along with collards and broccoli rabe and as many other dark green leafies as will fit in the produce drawer of a little apartment fridge). I love it sauteed or briefly braised with beans or atop a pile of quinoa, sliced into dark ribbons and tossed into a soup, or julienned for a lightly marinated salad (always tender Tuscan kale for salads - I find curly kale too tough to eat raw. And yes, I learned that the hard way).
On this particular evening, when the kale-washing was through, I started looking around for some interesting additions and realized I'd never tried kale with apple before. Thus was born my new favorite way to cook kale: with apple, onion, red chile flakes, and coriander seeds. Try making it for someone who thinks they don't like kale; they'll be converted. Apple and onion go into the pot first, melting together and releasing their sweet juices. The kale braises in this fruity apple-onion liquid, which coats the leaves, taming any bitterness and coaxing everything together. Along with a pinch of red chile flakes for heat and coriander seed for herbal complexity and brightness, this is a perfect example of the simplest ingredients coming together to create something greater than the sum of their parts.
The yogi swooned. Over kale. I never thought I would see the day.
kale with apple and coriander
I used curly kale, but Tuscan or purple kale, collard greens, or escarole would also be lovely.
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (I used a Cortland)
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 bunch kale, washed and sliced into 1/2-inch ribbons (remove any thick, fibrous stems before slicing)
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a pot over medium heat. When the butter stops foaming, add the onion and apple, along with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Saute for about a minute, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the apple and onion have released their juices and are beginning to soften (about 8 minutes).
- Stir in the red chile flakes and coriander, and cook for a minute more. Add the kale, another pinch of salt and pepper, and stir to combine. If it looks too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water. Cover and cook until the kale is tender, about 10 minutes more.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.