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Braised Kale with Pancetta


Serves two generously.

  • To learn more, read:
    Cook Kale Thoroughly
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 48

It always amazes me how much a huge bunch of kale shrinks during cooking. This recipe is especially good with the tender Red Russian variety. A squeeze of lemon makes a good finish.

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/4-inch slice pancetta, diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Pinch dried red chile flakes
  • 1-1/2 lb. kale, stemmed, leaves roughly torn
  • 1-1/2 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta, onion, and red chile flakes; sauté until the onion is deep golden, about 5 min. Add the kale; toss with tongs to coat the leaves with oil. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the leaves are quite tender, about 10 min. (thicker-leaved varieties will need longer, so do check the pan, adding water or broth if needed, and taste a leaf).

Stir in the minced garlic, raise the heat to high, and boil uncovered until the pan is dry. Season with a few grinds of pepper (you probably won't need salt) and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 350; Fat (g): fat g 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 3; Protein (g): protein g 18; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 39; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 480; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 10; Fiber (g): fiber g 7;

Very tasty. I use smoked Polish bacon and get the same results.

I followed this recipe except substituted oven roasted cherry tomatoes for the pancetta. Also reduced the olive oil to 2 tsp. The method is great-very flavorful tender kale. Will be making this many more times.

Great recipe!

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