This is all I've been wanting to eat lately.
Seriously... I've made it twice in the past five days. It's that good. In my quest to eat more vegetables, I picked up a bag of "organic kale salad" from my local grocery store, not really knowing what to do with it. It sat in my fridge for a day or two, looking sad and alone in my vegetable drawer.
If you're afraid of kale, don't worry. I ate it without much enthusiasm as a kid. There was something about the soggy texture of boiled kale that really didn't do much for me. But this recipe, oh man... it's different. This time, the kale ia sauteed with caramelized roasted sweet potatoes and onions and, well, lots of bacon. It really surprised me how good this is. And it's not soggy in the slightest!
This recipe might take a bit of time, but the beauty of it is that you can roast the veggies beforehand, or go and do other things while they're in the oven. The actual stir-frying part doesn't take very long at all.
Here's what you need to make two (large) sides:
For the roasted vegetables:
1 sweet potato, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 a sweet onion, cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, still in the skin
Juice of 1/2 an orange, roughly (about 1-2 tablespoons, depending on taste)
1 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt
pepper, to taste
For the stir fry:
3 cups chopped kale (or pre-chopped kale salad, like I used. My mix also had bits of carrot and red cabbage, but just regular kale would work fine, too)
3-4 slices of bacon, 1 tablespoon of drippings reserved (in the same pan)
The rest of the juice from the same 1/2 of an orange you used earlier.
How To Make It:
1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2) While the oven is preheating, chop up your vegetables. Cut your sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes, slice up your onion, and cut the tips off of your garlic cloves, which should stay in their skins through the roasting process. Cut your orange in half and put away the one you won't use--or eat it!
3) On a cookie sheet, lay out a biggish piece of tin foil. Pour some olive oil on the tin foil.
4) Place your veggies on the tin foil, toss with your fingers to coat with the oil. Sprinkle on your salt and pepper, and squeeze on the orange juice, careful to get as much as possible on the veggies themselves. Put the veggies in the oven, and leave them alone for about 15 minutes. Then, with tongs, or a fork, gently toss them to flip them over and put them back in the oven for about another 15 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on them so they don't burn. The veggies are done when the sweet potatoes are fork-tender and starting to carmelize. Try not to eat all of them before you get to the next step.
5) While the veggies are roasting, get out your bacon. Cut in small pieces and fry in a skillet until crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Check and see how much grease is in the pan; there should be a little less than 1 tablespoon left. You can either drain this fat and use olive oil to fry your kale (why??), or fry it in the bacon fat. Or I guess you could do a combination of both. Whatever. I used the bacon fat and it worked just fine.
6) After the bacon is cooked and the veggies are out of the oven, take out your kale. De-stem and chop it if need be into 1-2 inch pieces. At this time, also remove the roasted garlic cloves from their skins and mince. Heat your skillet to medium (or medium-low, depending on how how your oven is). Add the kale and garlic to your oil of choice and cook in the fat until wilted, about 5-8 minutes or so. Make sure that it is more on the side of wilted than crunchy, or it takes on more of a sulphury (is that a word?) taste.
7) When the kale is almost done, add in your bacon pieces and roasted vegetables. Stir to combine, turning up the heat until the sizzling gets a little louder (but not angry). If it needs more liquid, squeeze in a bit more orange juice. Cook until everything is warmed through and the kale is done to your liking.