It was 8 months ago. We were hunting for an apartment in San Francisco to settle while couch surfing in a studio rented by our good friend Amanda, who was backpacking in Europe at the time. The studio was located right next to Whole Foods Market.
During that period, there were endless errands to run and we pretty much ate out every day.
One day, Han said to me, “Let’s make some raviolis with kale for dinner.”
Me, as a new comer to the US (aka, a newb), was confused: “What and what?”
Han: “Come! I will show you.”
In front of the frozen food section at Whole Foods, I was officially introduced to this whole new world. First off, I learned what raviolis were – basically, they are Italian-style and square or triangle-shaped dumplings with cheese. Then we moved on to look for frozen kale. I had no idea what that vegetable was and how it looked at that time because it’s chopped, packed, and frozen. All I could do was to memorize the name of it.
Back in the studio, Han cooked some raviolis and kale in a saucepan with boiling water. Drained and tossed with some spaghetti sauce.
That was our first homemade dinner in the States.
That was the first time I had kale in my life.
Later on, I went back to Whole Foods to educate myself about what exactly fresh kale looks like and only discovered a whole lot of new ingredients that I had never seen and known of before.
The self-education on ingredients that don’t exist in China and how to cook them has absolutely been an eye-opening experience and I don’t plan on stopping it anytime soon. This easy kale recipe, being a result of my self-education, has quickly become a regular on our dining table. Since we love it so much every time I cook it, I thought it’s time to share with you.
To start off, I like to trim my kale leaves off the stems by using a kitchen utility knife. To do so, hold the bottom of a kale stem with one hand; carry the knife with the other hand and place the blade at the point where the stem connects to the leaf; slowly move both of your hands towards the opposite direction by having the knife blade against the stem all the way. Kale stems can be removed very easily in this way.
Are we just going to dump the stems? Nah! Save them for a smoothie or juice them with other veggies and fruit to make a healthy drink or even a breakfast. 🙂
For the leaves, tear them into chunks. Chop some garlic and you are pretty much all set for cooking. It’s only going to take a few minutes and you will have a delicious vegetable ready to serve with steak, pork, chicken or whatever. We often eat it alone. Hope you enjoy!
Easy Kale Recipe
- Category: Vegetables
- 1 large bunch of kale, washed, stem removed, leaves torn into chunks
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- white sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large sauté pan.
- Add garlic and stir quickly until fragrant.
- Place kale into the pan and toss around for 2-3 minutes. Cover to cook for 2 minutes.
- Uncover. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with vinegar and stir a couple times until seasonings are evenly spread out. Don’t over cook. We don’t want our kale to be completely wilted. Keep it nice green and crispy.
- Transfer the kale to a serving plate. Sprinkle some white sesame seeds on top and serve immediately.
- Serving Size: 4