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10.13.2008

Pleasantly sogged

I never thought I would say these words, but I like boiled kale. Kind of a lot.


This may not be the most exciting confession I have ever made, but please bear with me. Or, at least, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Boiled kale, I mean. I don’t usually like boiled anything - except, of course, pasta - but boiled kale, yes. It’s the wool sock of winter vegetables: warming, soothing, completely unglamorous, as cozy as a bunch of green leaves can be. If I could climb into a bowl of anything right now, I think I would choose kale. That’s the ultimate measure, you know, of a cool-weather food: would you want to lie down in a vat of it? Creamy polenta is a top contender, as is rice pudding, but, for me, for now, boiled kale is the winner. It’s soft; it’s silky; and if your shoulders get cold, you can grab a few slivered leaves and drape them over you like a shawl.


I always eat a lot of kale during the colder months, but boiling it is new to me. Usually, I toss it in a hot skillet with some butter or olive oil, knock it around for a couple of minutes, just until it turns bright green, and then drizzle it with lemon juice and turn it out onto a plate. Or I braise it with some chickpeas, like this. I had never even thought to boil it until a little over a year ago, I think it was, on a trip to San Francisco, when we had lunch at Zuni Café. Every time I go there, I seem to come away inspired somehow, and this lunch was no exception. I was in the mood for something healthy that day, and as I read down the menu, the first item to catch my eye was cavolo nero, or Tuscan kale, boiled and served on toast with a fried egg. Oh, I know. Listen, I know. It’s criminal to pass up the famous Zuni hamburger. But I couldn’t help it. I ordered the humble kale, and I am not sorry.

In fact, what the waiter set down in front of me a few minutes later was the closest I have ever come, in a restaurant, to my ideal lunch. It was a wide soup bowl - the type my mother calls a cream soup bowl - and in it was a beautifully sloppy pile of kale, stewed into tenderness in a clear, fragrant broth. Beneath the kale was a generous slice of country bread, happily soaking up the aforementioned broth, and atop it all sat a fried egg, waiting to loose its yolk onto the greens below. It wasn’t rocket science, but it was everything I love about Zuni Café: unpretentious, perfectly pitched, and utterly ballsy in its plainness. The best part was, of course, that it was delicious. The kale was sweet and earthy, the egg mellow and rich, and the bread soft, comforting, pleasantly sogged.


So, this past week, the week when I pulled my wool jacket out of the closet and put on my new wrist worms, I decided to boil some kale. Or, rather, I asked Brandon to do it while I did a load of laundry and cleaned the bathroom. I think he got the better end of the deal. But it doesn’t really matter, because 45 minutes later, I got some kale either way - and on toast, to boot, with an olive oil-fried egg, my favorite kind. And though I know I’ve been complaining about fall lately, I have to admit, I was happy to see kale again. I almost couldn’t believe it - especially since I got so tired of the stuff last winter - but I really was happy. Isn’t it great how that works? It’s kind of magical, to tell you the truth, like some sort of benevolent strain of amnesia. Hello, kale. It’s nice to know you again. For now.



Boiled Kale with a Fried Egg and Toast
Adapted from The Zuni Café Cookbook

I like to use cavolo nero - also sold as Tuscan kale, lacinato kale, or dinosaur kale - for this, but you could also use curly kale. And while you could use just water for this, I prefer to make it with chicken stock, preferably homemade.

Here’s a good, quick chicken stock: take 2 pounds of chicken parts (I like legs, or a mix of legs and wings) and dump them into a large saucepan with the following: 3 sprigs of fresh thyme; 1 small carrot, cut into a few pieces; 1 celery stalk, cut into a few pieces; and half of a yellow onion. Add 2 quarts of water. Bring to a simmer, and cook gently for 45 minutes, skimming away any foam that rises to the surface. Salt to taste. Strain through a colander to remove large solids; then strain again through cheesecloth. It’s ready to go.

About 8 ounces kale
5 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
A pinch of dried red pepper flakes
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 to 4 cups mild chicken stock, or water, or a combination of the two

To serve:
Thick slices of country bread
Eggs
Olive oil
Prosciutto, torn into bite-sized bits (optional)
Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano


First, prepare the kale: trim away any discolored spots, and then remove and discard the ribs and stems, if they are thick or woody. Stack a few leaves at a time; then slice them into ¼-inch-thick ribbons. Dump the sliced kale into a salad spinner, and add plenty of cold water. Swish the kale around to free any trapped dirt. Let stand for a minute or two – this lets the dirt fall to the bottom – and then lift the basket from the spinner. Pour out the dirty water. Replace the basket, add fresh water, and repeat. Spin dry.

In a large (4-quart) saucepan, warm the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are translucent but still firm. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and the kale, and stir until the kale is fully wilted. Add stock to cover by about ½ inch. Bring to a simmer. Cover, and continue to simmer until the kale is tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes. Taste, and salt as needed. This dish needs quite a bit of salt, so don’t be shy.

To serve, toast one slice of bread per person. While still hot, lightly rub both sides of the toast with raw garlic. Place the toast in the bottom of a wide soup bowl. Now, fry some eggs – one per person, probably – in olive oil. Pile some kale onto the toast in each bowl, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, and top with a fried egg. Strew with prosciutto, if you want. Grate some cheese over the whole thing, and serve.

Yield: about 4 servings

134 Comments:

Blogger Kitt said...

That looks like it would really hit the spot on a cold night, and so much nicer than boiled spinach. Brilliant to serve it with an egg and toast!

Kale gets such a bum rap, used so often as it is as an inedible raw garnish on steam tables. But it is so delicious and good for you. Thanks for spreading the kale love.

10:13 PM, October 13, 2008  
Anonymous Jen said...

Oh, yum. I'm rather partial to Bert Greene's Netherlands Baked Kale and Kale Pudd from Greene on Greens, but this looks wonderful. Thank you.

10:15 PM, October 13, 2008  
Blogger Alejandra said...

I'm such a dork. I'm up late trying to write and instead have been absentmindedly refreshing your page every few minutes since I know this is usually when you update. And my procrastination paid off! Boiled kale, huh? I've never tried it but I think I trust you so perhaps I'll grab some at the market and give it a shot. It's hard to go wrong with an egg on top...

10:36 PM, October 13, 2008  
Blogger Jayne said...

"...and if your shoulders get cold, you can grab a few slivered leaves and drape them over you like a shawl." So funny. I confess to not being a big fan of kale, but I've never tried it boiled. Maybe this weekend.

10:43 PM, October 13, 2008  
Blogger Snooky doodle said...

ha that would be a nice fashiion idea :) I ve never tried kale but it doesn t seem that appetitising . However vegetables are good for you . Are they ?

11:42 PM, October 13, 2008  
Anonymous Gracia said...

I love kale, I love it love it love it and I'm really looking forward to try this... although it's just 9.42AM here and maybe I should be working instead of thinking about cooking...

12:41 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Look, find, it, cool. said...

That is so cool! You picked something very very very common in northern germany (Hamburg and Bremen). In the cold times we cook kale alle the time (together with potatoes and pinkel (which is a special "has to go with kale"- sausage).
We also have a nice little convention: to go for a loooong walk in the cold (best: snow!), drink loads of schnapps (which is carried in a little transport wagon). And after that: eat tons of kale with pinkel.
At the end of the day, the kaleking (really!!) is pronounced.
Nice rite.

1:41 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Gemma said...

That sounds yummy and like it would be my boyfriend's ideal meal so I will have to give it a try.

2:42 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Samie said...

oh boy.

I wasn't that appetized when you first mentioned it. Kale.

but then I read your description and saw your picture..and I think I melted. I've got to try this. It sounds marvelous.

This is exciting. A new way to cook a vegetable that is, in my mind, not very exciting at all!!

Lovely post as usual Molly, thanks for the great ideas and weekly anecdotes!

2:58 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Victoria said...

I LOVE olive oil fried eggs so I think I'll head to the farmer's market this weekend and get some kale and make this. You've never, ever steered me wrong. Remember those roasted pears from last fall? It's about time for those again.

Have fun with Marcella. I just looked through the book yesterday.

Tell us more about those wrist worms. Are they in place of gloves? To be worn with gloves? To be worn with wide sleeves?

4:02 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Mama JJ said...

This looks fabulous. I've made chard with eggs and cheese numerous times (got the idea from your index) and loved it. I still have chard in the garden and now it's looking like it needs to be boiled. Maybe with some chunks of squash on the side...

-JJ

4:16 AM, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous Dana McCauley said...

I agree - kale is delish. I think it and rutabaga are two of the most under rated veggies.

4:56 AM, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've gotten myself to eat a lot of kale over the years, but the idea of really enjoying it- even craving it- yow!
Hilary @ smorgasbite.com

5:12 AM, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous Ricki said...

I adore kale, but, like you, I've never had it boiled. This sounds fabulous, and perfect for our cooler weather! Another treat, if you haven't tried it, is a raw kale salad--maybe not as warm and comforting, but I find it totally addictive nonetheless.

5:37 AM, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More than any other site I am regularly inspired to try your recipes. Thanks! I'm going to try this with collard greens that are in my fridge.

On kale - this year I finally found a use for it other than kale/potato/sausage soup. I boil it until soft, drain, chop thinly, chill, drizzle with sesame oil, seasoned rice vinegar, siracha - voila - Kale Salad Seaweed Style. Fancy it up with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Yum.

6:07 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Susan Spracher Macaluso said...

I absolutely love kale with vinegar. My children will eat it, too, which is something of a small miracle. Once again, Molly, brilliant photos,and a really nice post.

Susan, a.k.a Warm Bunny
http://warmbunny.blogspot.com
(I have a Giveaway going on right now so come on over!)

6:37 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger hannah said...

hmmm. looks like i'll have to put this one in my "i'm the only one in my house who will eat this" pile. it does sound so very delicious.

6:39 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Ellen said...

I love kale. (Dark leafy greens are my favorite...probably chard is my very favorite, but kale would come next.)

Not really an egg person...wish I could get over my egg-squeamishness, but I haven't...but the boiled kale I go for.

Nice post!

6:54 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I love kale, too! I haven't tried it boiled, but I do love it with an egg. I love anything topped with an egg, actually... we've taken to buying eggs 18 at a time instead of in dozens in my house - we go through them so fast.

6:54 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger trupeach said...

the perfect stack: sturdy on bottom, delicate on top, and yummy warmth right snug in the middle.
thank you for sharing this recipe!

6:58 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Jesse said...

I just read this recipe about a month ago and put a mental star next to it. I have to admit, the boiling part turned me off a bit, but I figured it couldn't go wrong if it was in the Zuni book. And clearly now you've made it, so it's tested tried and true. Maybe I'll even give it a real life penciled-in star thanks to your recommendation!

7:11 AM, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous EB said...

Totally NOT a crime to not order the burger. I think I've eaten that burger maybe once and I've been there more times than I can count. The kale (and generally I'm not a fan) is fantastic with the perfect egg. Mmm.

7:25 AM, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous lisaiscooking said...

I do love it in brothy soup with white beans, so this sounds delicious especially with the toast.

7:45 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger clairehelene7 said...

Oh my, yes. This sounds comforting and delicious. I just forwarded this on to my friend, who is a kale lover.

7:52 AM, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous Luisa said...

Oh, this is such a good meal - I agree. I make Paula Wolfert's version of this quite often and the egg on top makes all the difference! Loved the link to the wrist worms - I've been trying to convince my mother to go into the Etsy business for a year now, since she makes such lovely wrist worms herself. :)

7:57 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Shelby said...

I LOVE the greens/egg/bread combo. So simple and so comforting, though I usually tend towards broccoli rabe (a/k/a my favorite thing on the face of the planet). Kale's definitely going to be making an appearance now, though.

8:10 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Sarah Yost said...

oh, yes. we just finally got cool weather and this sounds perfect for it.

8:14 AM, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous Seattle Veggie said...

In the Best Vegetable Recipes cookbook they have an excellent recipe for boiled kale (or collards). With a mustard vinaigrette mixed in they're great!

8:18 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger I Heart Kale said...

Thanks for spreading the love! I also usually get sucked into a saute rut, but I'll have to remember this next time.

8:20 AM, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous Erin said...

Kale is so underrated and versatile. This looks lovely, I may have to fix it for dinner.

8:22 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger maggie said...

I LOVE the idea of boiling kale in chicken stock. Soothing. Greens + fried egg = perfect coldweather meal.

8:35 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Simply Yummy Goodness said...

I adore kale...it is the star of my very favorite winter dish and a favorite of my Portuguese American Family, caldo verde. I hope to post a recipe as soon as my liguica sausage arrives.

9:17 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Alina said...

An unlikely combo...thanks for sharing. I live in Florida and don't see much fall, so it is funny to hear you complain about fall for different reasons. I wish we could swap a few sunny days here for a few chilly, gray ones there!

9:24 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Rosiecat said...

I think kale is the best vegetable ever, right next to onions in my book. My only regret is that I was introduced to kale so late in life. I went 25 years without knowing the joy of kale! {Sob!}

Your recipe sounds intriguing, like it would make a perfect Saturday lunch after a trip to the market. I'm adding it to my ridiculously long list of things to make :-)

9:28 AM, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous Jessamyn said...

Kale with a fried egg and toast is one of my very favorite breakfasts, so good with a pot of Lapsang. Yum!

9:29 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Liz said...

I LOVE kale. My mom always made it with potatoes and irish bacon and it's difinitely stick-to-your-ribs fare.

Molly, this looks fantastic - props to you again. I just made the stuffed tomatoes for the second time so I'm ready to move onto this. I'm obsessed with poached eggs right now so I might try that as well as a fried egg.

10:12 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger A Day That Is Dessert said...

This kale/egg combination looks delicious, and I think my little boys would eat the kale this way (they are egg fanatics and will eat anything that has egg attached).

Thanks for the tip about Marcella Hazan - I'll try to make it!

Lecia

10:20 AM, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous matt wright said...

I actually agree with you, boiled kale ain't glam.. but it isn't all that bad, especially when paired with an egg as you have done!

Back in England, boiled "greens" were the norm for Sunday lunch.. we used to joke that my grandmother would put them on in the morning, so they would be ready for dinner (yes, her greens were really bad).

Lovely post and photos.

10:21 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Jen H said...

I would not normally be excited at the prospect of kale, but this looks so perfect and delicious I have to try it!

10:44 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Nate-n-Annie said...

that is a perfect meal.

I wonder what kind of wine you could serve with that. Pinot Grigio maybe?

11:48 AM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger ila said...

this. looks. absofrickingly delicious.

i will be picking up my first bunch ever tonight.

12:06 PM, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really embarrassing, but I don't know how to fry and egg. If someone could post instructions I will be forever grateful, because this recipe looks amazing! Thank you!

12:39 PM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Kate said...

Just today at lunch I got a yearnin' for Kale and Chorizo soup, but I think this will be the first kale dish of the year.

12:58 PM, October 14, 2008  
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2:37 PM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Maria said...

Never had it! I will try it though. I usually am up for leafy greens!

2:55 PM, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously. We've been getting kale every week forever with our CSA and I'm forever trying to figure out something new & tasty that won't totally offend my husband & 4 year old.

But I had all ingredients already in house & jumped in...and we are definitely ready to crave kale. Boiled? Who'd a thunk it? Everybody gobbled it up, and asked for seconds!

Thanks!

4:54 PM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger Hungry Robot said...

Not exactly bolied, but my mom makes a delicious kale soup (Korean-style, in a miso base with garlic with a healthy-sized lump of rice) and I continue making it. The most well-known Portuguese soups, of course, have kale in them. Eat more kale in any form! It is so healthy!

7:36 PM, October 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That looks good -- Usually I saute onions and apples together, then add kale, cook until soft, and eat immediately... but I'm going to try boiling it instead. There's something reassuring about eating kale, and I'm always looking for new ways of enjoying it.

7:45 PM, October 14, 2008  
Blogger La Traductora said...

Frankly, my dear, when I think of kale, I think of the first time I saw it, as a decorative plant in a windowbox on a rain-soaked street in Paris, France. And although I knew people ate it, I was never interested in eating it myself--until now. Saludos!

11:04 PM, October 14, 2008  
OpenID racheleats said...

All hail the mighty Kale.
I am not sure about throwing a boiled leaf around myself shawl style but some raw red stalked leaves would make a very pretty skirt indeed.

3:53 AM, October 15, 2008  
Anonymous DC Sarah said...

MMMMMM I loooooove kale. This looks awesome. But 1st, I need to make my way through the mounds of veggies in my fridge from an over-zealous shopping experience last week. However, this post inspired me. I had made your sauteed green cabbage with apple and red onion on Monday, so last night i heated it up, nestled it over some toasted baguette rubbed with garlic and a little butter, and dumped an olive oil fried egg on top. It was SUBLIME :)

8:35 AM, October 15, 2008  
Blogger Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet said...

Kale came into my diet after college when a colleague of mine made it sauteed with lemon and garlic and olive oil. I was smitten. I confess I have never made it any other way since. I love the texture of it sauteed. I am a little skeptical that boiled would be as good. But perhaps I'll have to give it a go.

8:45 AM, October 15, 2008  
Blogger jora said...

Molly! You and I both are in love with cavolo nero...I just posted about a very similar recipe that I just know you will love. :) http://domesticreflections.blogspot.com/

9:19 AM, October 15, 2008  
Anonymous justfoodnow said...

THIS IS FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for pointing out how seldom decent food is appreciated.

How do you feel about huge salads on tiny plates with olive oil on the side?

I can NEVER toss those salads.

2:24 PM, October 15, 2008  
Blogger cizuka said...

I have been OBSESSED with cavolo nero ever since i saw tried the cavolo nero bruscetta from the River Cafe Cookbook. but I have also been consuming it raw. It's quite delicious and surprisingly tender cut into 1 inch strips and tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and plenty of parmesan reggiano. If you let the salad sit for 15 minutes after tossing, the dressing works miracles on the leaves.

3:01 PM, October 15, 2008  
Blogger a. said...

Wow, this was actually super fantastic. I wasn't expecting that at all, but everything melded so nicely together and it was incredibly satisfying. Thanks for posting this!

3:27 PM, October 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, it is nothing even remotely like autumn here on my little patch of the planet, but if there's one thing we know about in the South, it's greens, including kale. I just polished off a serving of this fa-a-abulous supper, and it's a good thing I can have only one egg a day, because I'd be composing another instead of posting. Just exactly the right amount of garlic...and red pepper flakes. And I used just plain old curly kale. This rocks!

5:04 PM, October 15, 2008  
Blogger Linda said...

Did you read the ideas for Kale in the Bitten Blog in the New York Times? I've been inspired to look for some kale to buy. http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/14/a-refrigerator-staple-cooked-greens/

10:05 PM, October 15, 2008  
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2:03 PM, October 16, 2008  
Blogger Money Talks said...

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2:45 PM, October 16, 2008  
Anonymous robin said...

Molly, I've really loved seeing your photography progress over the past few years. This style is clear, pretty, and nuanced. Love it.

3:38 PM, October 16, 2008  
Blogger Stephen said...

I'm a big fan of kale! slightly bitter and full of green flavor! the fat in the yolk of a rich golden poached egg is the best with greens

10:01 PM, October 16, 2008  
Blogger suzanne said...

i'm trying this dish asap. as a woman of the south, i crave kale this time of the year. the kale in our garden says "eat me this way. you'll serve us well."

and on this cool, damp day, it must be some soulful food!

as always, you bring us gems...

peace.

5:59 AM, October 17, 2008  
Blogger sillygirl said...

I made this last night - had some ham broth with a little ham in it so I used that instead of chicken - and we had it with 2005 Chariot Gypsy from Trader Joe's - yum!!!!!

9:11 AM, October 17, 2008  
Anonymous Susan in Amherst, NH said...

This looks wonderful! I'm interested to know: Has anyone heard of a recipe called "Sweet Kale?" It uses the Tuscan variety, strong aromatics like paprika, garlic, shallots(?) It's sauteed in a pan with butter, then deglazed using a nice port. A recipe I've seen elsewhere calls for the addition of fried "slab bacon." It's very good, but I was wondering about that bacon... is it just regular sliced bacon?

10:16 AM, October 17, 2008  
Anonymous Hillary said...

I've never actually had kale which is sad I know. I imagine it to be like a sage flavored spinach. I don't know where I got that image in my head...

11:03 AM, October 17, 2008  
Blogger Lily White said...

I love kale. I put it in my favorite Italian soup, Zuppa Toscana. The cooking process takes the bitterness out of the kale and leaves you with leafy greeny goodness. Mmmm. I might have to make a pot of soup this weekend!

2:01 PM, October 17, 2008  
Blogger ester said...

delicius.....

1:51 AM, October 18, 2008  
Anonymous Cory said...

Just whipped up your kale recipe, threw grated mozzarella on top, paired it with some baked potato wedges and mayo and oh man was it good! I'm still surprised that I liked the kale and cheese combo so much.

2:21 PM, October 18, 2008  
Blogger Blushing hostess said...

At first I was not a kale, or for that matter, whineter greens, fan. Great for me though so I had to make the relationship work. I eased in with ribbolita and then gratin. but I must admit, I have tried it boiled and I do not care for it as much as other, highly adultered forms!

1:06 PM, October 19, 2008  
Blogger Andrew Abraham said...

Kale is so healthy.. it is full of Iron... we are always trying new Kale recipes...

Thanks for sharing yours..

Andy
www.recipebuddys.com

6:24 AM, October 20, 2008  
Anonymous Parantar said...

i wanna make this! thanks for the recipe!

9:57 AM, October 20, 2008  
Blogger Julia said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I LOVE kale, but I ate it too much last winter, and was sad until now that I got enough of it. Thanks for bringin it back into my life with the idea of boiling it!

2:03 PM, October 20, 2008  
Anonymous Trisha said...

Ok, so what about this: creamy polenta topped with boiled kale and a poached egg. How's that for cold-night comfort? It's our favorite 'round here (it's how I got my girls to love kale).

8:57 PM, October 20, 2008  
Blogger M said...

how serendipidous. i just bought some kale for the first time in my life (!) and have been wondering what to do with it and then happened upon your blog. yay!

9:16 PM, October 20, 2008  
Anonymous majmilys said...

but it looks nice.. i believe it can be good.

4:01 AM, October 21, 2008  
Blogger Danielle said...

I love kale! I make a cold chopped kale salad; I call it - Mikale Gorbachop.

I'll have to try this recipe.

1:47 PM, October 21, 2008  
Blogger Laura said...

Dinner tonight :)

3:33 PM, October 21, 2008  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh my GOODNESS this rocked. Here's a really good example of a recipe that needs a photo -- if you had just said to me "boiled kale with a fried egg on top" I probably would have said, "Eww." But that photograph was totally scrumptious and I made it tonight and we both just loved it. I didn't have prosciutto but otherwise followed your recipe to the letter (other than undersalting, slightly -- you were totally right on that count) -- yow, it's good. This is totally going into major rotation this winter -- thank you!

7:17 PM, October 21, 2008  
Blogger Yokel (TKS) said...

Just read this after a crisp night's walk under a clear fall sky, followed by a quick scrub of red and orange beets before sending them to the oven for a 2-hour toasty-roast. I'm the only one in the house who will eat beets, so they are one way to personal indulgence. Just because.

Thanks so much for the insider tips re: kale. I've been on what I call an old-fashioned vegie trend these days, roasting parsnips and shredding celeriac and sauteing beet greens. I am thrilled by the idea of boiled kale, and thanks too for the recipe link to kale w/chickpeas recipe; when I'm not going on about root vegetables and greens, I'm salivating over the entire legume family.

Fall is just the best time ever for cooking "just because," eh?

Bon nuit,
Tamara at BuzzFood, Bainbridge Island

8:48 PM, October 21, 2008  
Anonymous anne said...

hello molly, i love boiled kale, so nice you do too. around here in the north of germany, boiled kale is one of the most traditional and old-fashioned winter veggie dishes: either in a potage or with a roast and special sausage. and it is boiled for at least an hour. yup, a very long time, but the taste is amazing ;) i will definitely give your recipe a try. thank you for the lovely reminder that winter and kale is just around the corner ;)

10:19 AM, October 22, 2008  
Anonymous Bridget said...

I made this for dinner yesterday, and I loved it! I actually made the kale a little differently, braising it instead of boiling it, but I think the only difference is that I used about 1/4 the amount of liquid. But serving it over toast with an egg on top is something I wouldn't have thought of, and it was so good!

6:12 PM, October 22, 2008  
Anonymous Katie said...

Oh, Molly, I made this for dinner tonight, and it far exceeded my expectations. I knew it would be good, but just how good I had no idea. Dare I say it knocked my socks off? yup, it totally knocked my socks off. It's so nice to have something other than a boring saute to do with kale from now on.

9:51 PM, October 22, 2008  
Blogger Adana said...

I made this for dinner last night. It was phenomenal! So perfectly balanced, nourishing and comforting. Grazie mille!

9:20 AM, October 23, 2008  
Blogger courtney.singer said...

This recipie looks wonderful and simple; two words I would also use to describe your site (and the reasons I love it).
It is interesting to see that so many people pair kale with sausage and potatoes in some fashion. My mom makes a beautiful lentil soup which is accented with sausage and kale. Let me know if you would ever like the recipie...

10:30 AM, October 23, 2008  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I made this last night for dinner and it was so good I had to comment A SECOND TIME. Whoa. Big time delicious, perfect for the chilly evening we had last night, and thanks for the salting tip. This was wonderful.

11:49 AM, October 23, 2008  
Blogger chickpastor said...

This was AMAZING. We got a big old bunch of kale from our CSA and I had been dreaming about this dish for a few weeks...and it was totally everything I wanted it to be. My husband was not sure what to think when he saw the preparation, but was a big fan of the taste. We agreed that next time we will indeed sprinkle some prosciutto for even more yumminess! thanks!

3:46 PM, October 23, 2008  
Blogger Jane said...

What perfect timing...kale and I had just been introduced...I was in NYC the weekend before and ate a kale salad at Gennaro with pine nuts, currants and ricotta salata that was so satisfying that I immediately rushed out to find some kale when I returned home.

There is just me to cook for, and one can only eat so much kale salad, so I wasn't sure what to do with my poor lonely kale...and then I saw this. It was fate. It was a cold and hungry Wednesday, I had half a loaf of crusty wheat bread that needed to get eaten fast and I had all that kale begging to be warmed up and let loose!

I did mine a tad differently though. I knew I would want another flavor in there...something sweet maybe...I spied a little left over tomato soup...I toasted my bread, grated some of the ricotta salata, which had been so good with the cold kale, and then spooned a little heated tomato soup over the cheese-sprinkled bread. Then I added my inviting kale (oh that salty broth-y flavor!), then perched my cute little smiling egg on top and then added one last dusting of the ricotta salata.

Oh humble kale how you have been vindicated! So sweet and salty and warm! Never shall you go lonely or cold again!

When I returned home the next day and opened my fridge, there was trusty kale to greet me. Kale winked and whispered "I think there is some of that crusty bread still left..." I nodded; "kale, my friend, I was just thinking the exact same thing..." And so it was that kale came to reign supreme in my house for a second night in a row.

9:14 AM, October 24, 2008  
Anonymous shelly said...

Oh my goodness. This was the best dinner I've made in weeks. I should confess that I've been a little preoccupied with work lately so my husband has been the main dinnner maker, but when I saw this recipe, it sounded so perfect that I had to make it. We both loved it and plan to put it in our list of regulars. Thanks!

10:13 AM, October 24, 2008  
Blogger Lisa said...

The fella is off picking some kale and leeks (we have a bunch of unsellable ones in the field, so he says it's leeks instead of onions until they're used up!). I'm about to get up from the computer to find -- ah, hell, who am I kidding? to clean -- a pot. Dinner! Thanks.

2:37 PM, October 25, 2008  
Blogger Cory said...

This is now my second comment and I think it shows the quality of this recipe. I made the boiled kale last Saturday and have been eating it throughout the week with different dinners. I just finished off the last little bit tonight, and although the kale could be a little bit fresher, it was still wonderful. My absolute favorite thing to put on top of it is grated mozzarella and tonight the addition of pine nuts was amazing!

7:30 PM, October 25, 2008  
Blogger Samuel said...

made it tonight finally and threw in some roasted sweet potatoes. Fantastic.

5:50 PM, October 26, 2008  
Anonymous Yooli said...

Molly, I had a cold this week and ate this dish no less than four times. I had to go out for kale three times! Our darn co-op was running a sale on dino kale, so I couldn't get my hands on some until Friday. Regular curly green kale worked fine, but the red kale was a tad too bitter. I agree that homemade stock is what kills this recipe - it made it so much richer and delicious. I love the dish so much I linked to it on my blog just now. Thanks for the great recipe!

8:34 PM, October 26, 2008  
Blogger samarama said...

This was YUMMY! Made it last night after a chilly and gray weekend in DC. It was delicious, although i think i let a little too much liquid cook out, it was still delicious. thanks molly.

6:25 AM, October 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same cold night, but north in Baltimore! I am so happy for kale.

5:54 PM, October 27, 2008  
Blogger redmenace said...

Yum! Thanks! I made this. Found perfect dino kale at the farmer's market. I made jut a couple of changes including frying the egg in bread crumbs and using my homemade crusty bread!

8:03 PM, October 27, 2008  
Anonymous mel said...

mmmmm, so good! i made this last night, bread, egg and all, and i loved it! i've never had kale before, and i was an excellent introduction.

8:07 AM, October 28, 2008  
Blogger coffeechris said...

Just got "pleasantly sogged" -- I just made the recipe for breakfast ...it was YUM -- I am a kale kovert, now - you made a believer in me. Thanks.

8:33 AM, October 28, 2008  
Blogger Lisa said...

Just popping back in to say how yummy this was. We love greens so much, but almost always just saute them with some onions and maybe garlic (or butter and apples, if it's Red Russian kale). It's so good to get out of your groove sometimes! We took the leftovers down to the new place with us, and what a treat on a (rare) lazy day, spent almost entirely in our pajamas -- after a little "I don't feel like cooking ... but I want real food" whining, we remembered the kale! I do think the garlicky bread is a key element in the deliciousness here. And somehow the bread gets almost ... creamy? Does that make sense? Anyway: wonderful.

4:23 PM, October 28, 2008  
Blogger purplepepehawaii said...

Hi Molly,
I admit I've never eaten kale, and if I've never eaten it, then my husband would fall into the category of "what's a kale?" lol!
At any rate, I made it and he has asked me to make it again, 3 times already!!! I think he was partial to the thick slice of bread on the bottom, since we usually only have high fiber cardboardy stuff at home-- but the important thing is is that he actually ate the kale part too!! Even my 3 yr old partook of the brothy "soup". She thinks soup is the best!

6:40 AM, November 02, 2008  
Anonymous Marilì said...

Hi Molly, it's my first time here and... wow, it's cool ! I will try your boiled kale, very interesting. I reccommend to try the Italian (from Tuscany) recipe with kale called "Ribollita". I write to you from Italy, Capalbio in Tuscany and here it is a real traditional recipe. I am going to write it down in one of my next post and on the purpose I will insert the English translation for you all : http//blog.gustoshop.eu
Stay tuned !!!
Marilì

6:01 AM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger amisha said...

you are the only woman on earth who could get me enthused for boiled greens, molly :) and how is it possible that in your hands the idea of putting kale around my shoulders sounds comforting? i loved this post, and i'm excited about trying this recipe once i head north again. xo

7:40 AM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger Shatha Al-Husseini said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:02 PM, November 04, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, but you gotta steam-fry the egg. Just add some water to the skillet and cover until the top is cooked to desired consistency...

1:03 PM, November 07, 2008  
Anonymous Jacqueline said...

This recipe (sans red pepper flakes and prosciutto -didn't have either, sorry!) just made for the most delightful late afternoon lunch here in Southold, NY. It's gloomy here today, but in a good way. There's too much beautiful color in the trees for this grey, foggy, damp weather to bring anybody down, especially me, now that I'm full with boiled kale on country toast, topped with a farm egg fried in olive oil.

12:23 PM, November 08, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unbelievably good. I didn't have any proscuitto and forgot the cheese but my husband and son didn't complain. They just gobbled it down. That was a complete meal. We were satisfied with just, although my son also had a bit of lettuce, tomato and cheese on the side.

We have a half share in a winter CSA so last night we had swiss chard sauteed in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes and grated parmesan on top. This was over yellow rice.

I've never been a big kale fan but I plan to be now. Thanks for the yummy recipe.

Linda

6:16 PM, November 08, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! That was delicious! I just made this recipe with two small alterations:
1) I used vegetable stock
2) I served it on fettucine pasta.

Thanks a bunch! It was a hit, and will be in heavy rotation from now on in my kitchen.

7:09 PM, November 08, 2008  
Anonymous Marilì said...

Hi Orangette! The recipe of the Italian kale soup called "Ribollita" - typical from Tuscany - it is on line and for the firts time in my blog, the recipe is tanslated in English for you all...
http://blog.gustoshop.eu/
Goodnight !
Marilì from Italy

12:04 PM, November 09, 2008  
Blogger Anjali said...

Yum, I just made the kale and ate it with an Armenian-style rotisserie chicken from a local Middle Eastern market. If you've ever had Armenian chicken, you're familiar with the INCREDIBLE garlic spread it comes with -- I put that on the toast, topped it with the kale and had the perfect simple, chilly-night dinner. Thanks as always, Molly!

7:37 PM, November 11, 2008  
Blogger Jillian said...

Hi Molly,
I made the kale last week. It was amazing and I enjoyed it with toast. However, I served it with boiled pasta one night and it made this delicious soup-like meal! Oh it was so tasty and it looked kind of like Louisa's bean and kale soup (minus the beans). This recipe is definitely a keeper. Bring on the kale!

10:26 AM, November 12, 2008  
Blogger Brooke said...

Before today, I'd tell you that there's something about Kale that just isn't sexy...but now that I've read through your recipe, I'll admit you've changed my mind.

Fine! I'll say it. Kale is one sexy leafy vegetable when done right.

Thanks for the inspiration. Again. :)

12:39 PM, November 16, 2008  
Blogger LisaK said...

I've been meaning to make this for a while and finally did tonight...and oh wow, it is BETTER than the hype. My fiance ate his and was like, "Um, we should make this a lot."

Perfect dish for a cold night. I'm officially obsessed.

8:12 PM, November 16, 2008  
Blogger Buffra said...

I've made this at least 3 times since the original post -- it's a lovely comfort food. I don't like really soggy bread, though, so I have served the kale and egg over a bed of nice fluffy quinoa. It's lovely.

:)

6:35 PM, November 17, 2008  
Blogger rachel said...

boiled kale is a totally dutch comfort or poor person's food... and usually mashed with potatoes... i made your recipe and had mashed potatoes on the side and some sausage - not as healthy as yours, but serious comfort food. thanks for the reminder!

7:44 PM, November 22, 2008  
Blogger Jason said...

Finally had this tonight and the photos don't due it justice. Easily one of the best things I have had recently. One minor change - like everyone else and the beauty of cooking - added diced pancetta with the onions as a substitute for the prosciutto I did not have. Just lovely - everyone loved it, even those who don't eat eggs for dinner.

6:04 PM, November 24, 2008  
Blogger ExpatJane said...

Boiled kale is a twist on a staple in my upbringing, which involved a consistent supply of boiled collard greens.

Now that I live in Asia, I use kale as an "almost close enough" substitute and my preference is to boil it. I just happened to run a search for new twists on how I make it and found your blog.

Funny, when I graduated from law school I had a dinner with friends after the ceremony at Zuni Café. It's was right between UC Hastings, my alma mater, and my apartment at the time. I always loved it was just a 10 to 15 minute walk from my apartment.

Thanks for this post. Now I'm off boil some kale with lots of onions and garlic.

12:23 AM, December 12, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My fiance and I are leaving for an extended holiday vacation overseas so we're doing one of those cobble together a meal with the remnants of the fridge sort of things -- this boiled kale and fried egg was the perfect thing for the job :)! Paired it a simple slow cooked salmon from Alice Waters for a bit more of a traditional meal (my meat and fish eating man doesn't believe in a purely veggie meal, haha). Following this meal up with some of David Leite's amazing cookies for dessert -- yum!

5:49 PM, December 24, 2008  
Anonymous Floribunda said...

Thank you Molly! I've made this dish several times now and it's become my new favorite winter work night dinner. It's just perfect.

6:50 PM, January 08, 2009  
Anonymous Sujan Patricia said...

A couple of weeks ago, though, I took Molly's advice: I boiled some kale. I toasted some bread. I fried an egg.

It was a cold night, and this was a soul-satisfying meal for such an evening. It was simple and filling. I won't tell you the method, because Molly does a better job of interpreting Zuni than I could, but I will suggest you give it a try.

10:26 PM, February 09, 2009  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

I just made this today. Wow - yum! Thanks for posting this!

2:09 PM, February 21, 2009  
Blogger Lenny425 said...

This is so similar to a dish my Italian grandmother (from Bari) made using Broccoli rabe. Done the exact same way! Try that or even substitute escarole but I always preferred the rabe.

2:18 PM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger Denguy said...

I'm absolutely trying that tomorrow!

2:40 PM, February 27, 2009  
Anonymous Prague Paul said...

My wife is Italian (from Catania) and she often uses kale when we are in Italy.
It is not so easy to find here in England though. I love the stuff personally.

10:43 AM, August 13, 2009  
Blogger Suzyfein said...

Was searching for something to do with kale and eggs, and found your recipe on Google. Just made this lovely boiled kale dish about an hour ago and it was absolutely wonderful. My husband loved it too. Can't wait to start reading your blog regularly. Thank you!

10:41 AM, August 23, 2009  
Blogger James said...

I just made a variation of this and it was delicious! Admittedly, I have your aversion towards boiled veggies so I held firm to my beliefs and I skipped the boiling part. Instead I heated up olive oil in a sauté pan under high heat and added chopped Spanish onions and almost instantly turned the heat down to medium and let them cook for a minute, then I added the minced garlic and chiffonaded kale and a generous spoon of unsalted butter for good measure. I let all this sauté under med-low heat for about 12 minutes or so until I was pleased with the texture of the kale and then placed it on a piece of buttered toast, sprinkled it with a bit of aged parmesan and topped it off with a fried egg. Unbelievable, the sweetness of the garlic and onion combined with the creamy velvetiness of the butter mixed with the kale and the egg is phenomenal, I only wish I had some prosciutto on hand, that would really complete the dish.

3:20 PM, September 22, 2009  
Blogger Dan Boucher said...

I'm sure you won't get a chance to read this, what with all of your new restaurant crazy-busy-ness, but I feel that showing my thanks for sharing this recipe is the least I can do.

I have made it twice, TWICE in the past week, because the first time I made it, my mind was blown. We get kale in our farmshare box once a month, and I was at a loss for what to do with it (other than kale soup, again) until someone sent me a link to your blog.

How can something so simple taste so amazingly good? I'm planning on building a small dinner party around this dish, so that I can wow several people with minimal work.

Thanks again, and keep up the excellent blogging!

6:23 PM, September 28, 2009  
Blogger MsRuckus said...

I know that this is a comment on an old recipe, but I wanted you to know that I stirred polenta in with the kale and broth while it was cooking and stirred every few minutes. It is a riff on a Bittman recipe from a couple of years ago. Anyways, polenta, kale and an olive oil fried egg on top - yum! (Anything is better with an egg on top!)

4:47 PM, March 19, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, I love your blog and I think you are a fantastic writer! I just wanted to give you a tip that I can tell by your writing that you will love. When you make chicken stock ad a very small amount of a fresh herb called lovage. It gives chicken soup this savory, unimaginably perfect quality that you may recognize if you have ever had a really good bouillion cube. Try it...you will freak! Yam

1:44 PM, September 17, 2010  
Anonymous Kalle Bergman said...

YES!! Kale is amazing, and completely and utterly underrated. Thanks for this post, I loved it!

1:51 PM, October 05, 2010  
Blogger Aurelia said...

In a rare move, I bought some delicious multigrain bread from the nice farmers' market bread people today. Fortunately I had also bought a sexy bunch of cavolo nero, and had one egg at home. Plus I'm only on episode 6 of this season of Mad Men. Yours was an appreciated component of this S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y...NIGHT!

6:04 PM, November 13, 2010  
Blogger bemelodious said...

Just made this for breakfast-- who would've thunk that boiled kale and egg would be so delicious first thing in the morning?

8:21 AM, January 29, 2011  
Anonymous Mara D Parker said...

I love Kale in my fave soup. Portugese kale soup. It's just a little olive oil in a stock pot. Then add 2 peeled & chopped carrots, 1 chopped lg to med onion, & turkey sausage sliced. Slowly saute' 10 mins. Add 6 cps chicken broth & 1 cup water & bring to a boil. Add 1 bunch of torn or chopped kale withoy the stems & simmer 20 min's. Delicious. I'm trying your recipe tonight for supper. Thanks. Sounds great.

3:14 PM, June 11, 2011  
Blogger Audrey said...

I've been making this for a few years now and haven taken to tossing parmesan heels in the freezer when I get them. They go into boiling soup like minestrone, bean soups, and add a fabulous flavor to this as well.

6:35 PM, September 14, 2011  
Anonymous Laurie said...

Bought kale with no idea what to do with it...tried your recipe just as written...

SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOD.

Thank you for making kale a delicious part of my life now :)

4:18 PM, October 13, 2011  

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