Sunday, July 5, 2009

Italian Kale with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

Don't you just love it when an inspiration turns out to be delicious? Well this one worked out well.

The inspiration came when I was strolling through the Farmer's Market. My daughter has been complaining about too many salads so I was searching for some new veggies to prepare. I saw the kale and it spoke to me. It was dark green with elongated and bumpy leaves. I have used it in soups, but never as a side dish for dinner.

I looked up recipes online to get a general idea of how to prepare it. Then I had to figure out how to season and flavor it so my picky family would eat it. Out of that came a delicious result. The kale was savory and earthy. The cranberries, pine nuts and vinegar provided a sweet and tangy counter. My husband loved it. He said he would eat it anytime I made it. That is no small miracle. He has never met a vegetable that he would ask for a second date; he only eats them because he knows that he needs to set a good example for the kids.

My 21 month old at a few pieces and went back to his "chichen". His opinion is not very reliable. Some days he eats serving after serving of veggies and other days, very few. My daughter is the pickiest of all. She ate all of hers and thanked me for not making another salad. Her seven year old opinion was that I could make it again, but she didn't love it. There you go. I think that was pretty good considering that if she were left to her own choosing, she would eat bread and fruit all day and finish off with all the dessert she could find. LOL.

Italian Kale with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

1 bunch Italian kale (also called dinosaur kale or lacinto kale)
1 Tbs olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar (or more if needed)
dried cranberries
2 Tbs pine nuts, lightly toasted
salt and pepper

Wash the kale and dry in a salad spinner or pat with kitchen towels. It can still be fairly damp, but not dripping wet. Chop the kale into larger bite sized pieces (it will wilt significantly when it is cooked). Saute the garlic in a pan over medium to medium-high heat until fragrant (hot enough to cook, but not burn the garlic). Add the chopped kale and saute until it is bright green, slightly wilted, but still has some body and character left to it. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and toss to coat. At this point I plated my kale and sprinkled the dried cranberries and toasted pine nuts on top. I finished with some fresh, cracked black pepper and some sea salt.



  1. Ooh, this sounds great! I love the idea of cranberries and pine nuts with kale. Of course, I'll eat pine nuts in anything. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. what is the yield of this recipe.

  3. This made 4 vegetable side dishes for my family. I am sorry I cannot be more certain as the kale came in a bunch from the Farmer's Market, and therefore wasn't weighed.