Monday, November 21, 2011

On the Side

Green bean casserole again? There's something to be said for tradition, I guess, but maybe you could try something new at your Thanksgiving this year. I once made roasted brussels sprouts for my family who had either never had them before, or claimed to not like them. They ate them and liked them. And no one died. You can always cover your bases by making the old standbys.

Tuscan kale (the elongated, pebbly surfaced variety) may sound way too healthy for the decadence that is the Thanksgiving meal, but there are ways to prepare it that are a little less granola than you might expect. For example, making crispy kale chips to serve with a pre-dinner drink is a healthy alternative to regular chips, yet you still get the salty-crunchy experience. Or you could make a salad for your first course that is not as filling as a soup.

Tuscan kale, like all kales, is extraordinarily nutritious. One cup provides more than 100 percent of the daily value of vitamins K and A, and 88 percent of the daily value for vitamin C. (And you can fight off colds!) OK so it is very healthy...but you will need a little greenery to offset all of the buttery mashed potatoes and gravy! And stuffing. And pie. And green bean casserole.

(They may not look cute, but they are extremely addictive!)

Tuscan Kale Chips
(From Bon Appétit)

12 large Tuscan kale leaves, rinsed, dried, cut lengthwise in half, center ribs and stems removed
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Toss kale with oil in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Arrange leaves in single layer on 2 large baking sheets. Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes for flat leaves and up to 33 minutes for wrinkled leaves. Transfer leaves to rack to cool.

Tuscan Kale Salad

4 - 6 cups Tuscan kale (such as Italian black/Lacinato/Cavolo Nero), loosely packed and sliced, stems removed
Juice of 1 lemon
3 - 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, mashed
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, or other flavorful grating cheese such as Asiago or Parmesan
1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs from lightly toasted bread

1. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a generous pinch (or more to taste) of hot red pepper flakes. Let sit for a few minutes, then remove the garlic and discard.

2. Whisk the dressing and pour over the kale in a large serving bowl and toss well. Add 2/3 of the cheese and toss again.

3. Let kale sit for at least 5 minutes. Add the bread crumbs, toss again, and top with the remaining cheese.


WendyB said...

Wow...there's a lot of vitamins in there. I need to get some of those.

Tina said...

I think I'm glowing.