Garlicky Wilted Kale with Red Wine Vinegar

July 28, 2009


As promised in yesterday’s post, here’s another component of my fam’s recent Jerk Chicken dinner.

I think of adding vinegar to kale as giving this dark leafy green a southern inflection. But it’s also an Italian kind of thing to do. However you want to think about it, finishing with vinegar gives this hearty veg a delectable brightness that keeps you wanting more. And the dash of nutmeg brings out a savory flavor that’s the  perfect pair for jerk seasoning (though, I add nutmeg even when we’re eating these greens with other mains).

This super nutritious, (just about) 30-minute side is a favorite at our house. I used to make it when Isaac was as young as 10-months-old (using cider vinegar). I’d give him a pureed version alone, alongside meat, or mixed in with pastina or beans. Me and the ChowPapa would gobble down the rest—served as tender wilted leaves, of course! Now that I don’t have to worry as much about texture and spice, I experimented with a quick spicy sauce to drizzle over the finished greens. We liked the bite. Give it a try!

Garlicky Wilted Kale with Red Wine Vinegar
(can be adapted for kids 10+ mos)

3 tbsp organic olive oil (you may need more if using something other than a dutch oven)
4 cloves organic garlic, minced
2 bunches organic kale, cleaned, torn into pieces
1 c organic chicken or vegetable broth
3 tbsp organic red wine vinegar (use cider vinegar for kids under 12 mos)
dash organic nutmeg, to taste

Quick Spicy Sauce

(optional to drizzle over finished greens, skip for kids under 12 mos)
1 pat organic butter
2 dashes or so worcester
3 dashes or so tabasco or other hot sauce

1. Heat oil over medium high heat in a dutch oven. Add garlic and saute until it begins to turn brown.

Add kale, tossing to coat with oil and garlic. You may need to do this in batches, allowing one batch to wilt slightly before adding the next. You may also need to add some extra oil if using a pot that doesn’t conduct heat as well as a dutch oven. You’ll know if you need to do this if the garlic and/or kale starts to burn or stick to the bottom of your pot.

3. Once all of the kale is slightly wilted, add half of the chicken broth. Cook for about a minute, coating kale. Once most of the liquid is cooked off, add the second half cup of broth, cover, turn heat to medium-low, and let cook for about 20 minutes, until the kale is tender.

4. Uncover pot. Turn heat up to medium and allow most of excess liquid to cook off, about a minute or two. Add dash of nutmeg and vinegar, and cook for another minute. If you plan on skipping the spicy sauce, cook off all excess liquid and serve.

5. Otherwise, remove kale from pot, allowing any excess liquid drip off of kale. Set aside, add a pat of butter, worcester, and tabasco to remaining liquid. Allow this to slightly thicken into a sauce, and pour over kale before serving.

2 Responses

  1. […] I had kids, one of my go-to meals was jerk chicken with a side of sweet plantains and garlicky wilted kale. I stopped making it once my first Hungry Boy started eating. I thought it was too spicy to share […]

  2. John Smith says:

    Thanks for this great recipe!! Can you use other types of vinegar, or red wine vinegar suits this dish best?

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