Sunday, July 5, 2009

Braised Kale and Figs

I've been playing around with kale for a while.
I bought three huge bunches at the farmers market,
which encouraged me to cook it up quickly. The longer your
greens sit, the more bitter they become. I usually
cook it up with raisins and serve it over pasta.
However, I was in luck this past Sunday.

I went over to the west side of the island with some
friends and we went to Costco. (yes yes I know, but
we have very few choices in Hawaii. Unfortunately,
Costco is often the lesser of evils.)
While we were there I was stunned to find a large
flat of fresh figs for $8. I was so excited. Its the first
time I've ever seen fresh figs in Hawaii. Its been almost
a decade since I'd had one.

Figs originate from Western Asia, but spread through the
Mediterranean. They were brought over to California in
the 1500s by explorers and became an established crop
in the missions of Southern California. Figs are really high
in dietary fiber (two figs contain the same amount of fiber
as a half a cup of beans), as well as high levels of potassium,
and manganese.

So, aside from munching them
constantly I figured I'd give them a whirl with some
braised kale. I wish I could make this more often, its
across the board gorgeous.

Braised Kale and Figs


1 large bunch of Kale, cut to ribbons!
1 clove of garlic, minced
5 medium fresh figs, cut into quarters
2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt to taste
crumbled walnuts (optional)

cook garlic in a tablespoon of water over medium heat until fragrant.
Add the kale and about a 1/4 cup water, you may need to
add more if it starts to look dry. Cook until Kale looks like its starting
to wilt and look tender but not soggy. Add figs, vinegar, and a dash of salt
(and walnuts if you like)
Continue cooking until figs are tender and kale is soft, but still bright.
Excellent served with toasted ciabatta bread.

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