Haters gonna hate, but they ain’t gonna hate this sauteed kale.
I’ve been enjoying this version of kale a few times per week, and find myself craving it. Yep, craving kale. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a nutritional therapist and obligated to say so. I actually look forward to eating this.
Kale De-Stemming Magic
For the best sauteed kale, you will want to remove the very tough stems, which run down the center of the leaf. You can use your fingers to remove it, but that is time-consuming. Recently, I made a video about the life-changing hack to de-stem an entire bunch of kale in just a few seconds.
The kale-de-stemmer is available here on Amazon.
The Secret Ingredients
Ready to revel in a new experience of sauteed kale? It comes down to a few special ingredients.
Ghee or bacon grease – “Fat gives food flavor,” said Julia Child. You can’t have flavorful vegetables without fat. And, in my humble opinion, these are the two most flavorful fats available.
Further, both are heat-stable for sautéing and contain the fat-soluble vitamins required to absorb the minerals in kale. Coconut oil is great, but it lacks the bio-available vitamin A found in ghee, which works synergistically with the nutrients in kale. Check out my posts 10 Reasons to Bring Lard Back and 10 Benefits of Ghee for more info.
Shallot and garlic – I can’t remember the last time I cooked a leafy green without shallots. It’s a match made in heaven. It’s SO worth the extra couple of minutes to dice and saute the shallot. The hint of garlic matches the heartiness of the kale beautifully.
Coconut aminos – This sweet, salty, umami ingredient is indiscernible as coconut aminos in the end result, but absolutely makes the dish. Coconut aminos is essentially a soy-free alternative to soy sauce.
Dijon mustard – Again, you won’t be able to put your finger on this flavor when enjoying the dish, but you will miss it if you skip it. It brightens and highlights without adding any spiciness.
- 1½ Tbs. ghee or bacon grease
- 1 medium shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons of minced shallot)
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 tsp. coconut aminos, available here (or substitute 1 tsp. tamari sauce)
- ½ tsp. mild dijon mustard, such as Annie's Organic Dijon Mustard
- 1 bunch of kale, preferably smaller stalks which tend to be more tender
- Unrefined salt and black pepper, to taste
- First, de-stem your kale. The stems are too tough for sauteeing. You can do this by removing the stems with your fingers, but that takes a while. So I highly recommend this kale-de-stemmer, which I show in the video above.
- Chop the kale into small pieces.
- Use a saute pan with high sides and a heavy bottom. A dutch oven works well. Heat the cooking fat over medium heat, then add the shallots. Cook until translucent, abut 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook briefly until fragrant, about a minute. Add the chopped kale and stir to coat in the oil. Add the coconut aminos and dijon mustard, and stir again.
- Saute, stirring frequently, until the kale is tender, about 8 minutes. If the kale starts to stick to the pan, add a couple tablespoons of water or bone broth. This will help soften the kale, and the water will cook off.
- Season with salt and pepper before serving and enjoy!
Do you have any special tips for preparing exceptional sauteed kale?