My Recipe Box

Kale with Garlic and Lemon


Serves 12

These tender, garlicky greens can feed a crowd, which makes them great for Thanksgiving. Their flavor also pairs well with rich wintertime braises.


  • Kosher salt
  • 4 lb. Tuscan kale or 2 lb. regular kale, stemmed, leaves cut into 1-inch strips
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring an 8-quart pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Working in batches, boil the kale just until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well.

Put the oil and garlic in the pot. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to turn golden, about 6 minutes. Raise the heat to medium high, add the kale and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes (5 to 6 minutes if refrigerated). Sprinkle with the lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make Ahead Tips

You can boil the kale and refrigerate it in an airtight container up to one day ahead.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 70, Fat (kcal): 4, Fat Calories (g): 35, Saturated Fat (g): 0.5, Protein (g): 3, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5, Carbohydrates (mg): 9, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 0.5, Sodium (g): 410, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Great recipe. Also works as an add-on topping for pizza. The bitterness depends on how fresh the kale is, and sometimes it IS bitter, even if very fresh. Usual solutions are two: First, rinse it more. Taste a little of the raw leaf after rinsing, and if it's still too bitter, rinse some more. Second - which I don't like - is to add some baking soda to the cooking water. Not much, maybe a teaspoonful to a couple of quarts of water. It will fizz up when you put it in; put the kale in while it's still fizzing. Oh... and don't use an aluminum pot. Use stainless or enamel. The soda will react with the aluminum.

Perhaps I did something wrong but the kale came out bitter. I'm willing to try it again as I love kale, garlic, and olive oil together. As a cook I feel like recipe is a guideline and one should be able to wing it a bit. I will follow it to the tee next time and if that doesn't work I'll try something different.

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