Tuscan kale enjoys the nickname Dinosaur kale because of the scaly texture of its mature leaves. But really it has the softest texture of any of the varieties; it’s our favorite to grow. Here’s a side dish that plays the sweetness of the leek against the slight bitterness of fresh kale. You could use leftovers in countless ways. Think frittata or quinoa pilaf.
Cut one leek in half lengthwise and begin slicing each half on the short side into a feathery pile. Learn more about working with leeks here.
Before you put the leeks on to caramelize, prepare the kale. Cut and compost the tough stems from one bunch of washed kale and slice the leaves into bite sized, almost square pieces. Set aside.
To a sauté pan on low heat, add 1 T. olive oil. Toss the leeks in the oil and let them begin to soften for about 3 minutes on low. Stir frequently and watch them. If they start to brown, turn down the heat. Soft and syrupy is your goal.
Deglaze the pan with about one half cup of water and pile the kale on top. Stir the leeks into the raw kale, cover with a lid and turn the heat up to medium to steam the kale.
Check under the lid frequently. It will only take about 4 minutes for the kale to soften, and the water should keep the leeks from burning. But make sure with frequent stirring.
When the kale is wilted to your liking, turn off the heat. Toss the kale and leeks with sea salt, about half a teaspoon or so to taste and fresh ground pepper if you like.