Sautéed Kale With Pine Nuts and Onions
Serves 4. Recipe is from “Authentic Portuguese Cooking: More Than 185 Classic Mediterranean-Style Recipes of the Azores, Madeira and Continental Portugal” by Ana Patuleia Ortins and reprinted with permission from Page Street Publishing Co.
½ cup pine nuts or almond slivers
2 pounds fresh kale or collard greens, rinsed, well drained, sliced into fine julienne (see note)
¼ cup olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 bay leaf
½ cup chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon flour or as needed
2 tablespoons wine or cider vinegar
Pinch of crushed dried peppers
Coarse kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Place the nuts in a large, dry nonstick skillet over medium heat. Keep the nuts moving in the pan until they pick up some color; keep pulling the pan back and forth across the burner and occasionally tossing the nuts in the pan. Be watchful, as they can start to burn in the blink of an eye. Remove the nuts from the pan when lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes, and transfer to a cup.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and dump the cut kale into the water. Reduce the heat and cook the kale, uncovered, for about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain well. Set aside.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Toss in the garlic and bay leaf, heating them until the garlic is lightly golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the garlic and discard the bay leaf. (The garlic is a treat for the cook.) Add the onion and sauté until medium golden, about 5 to 6 minutes.
4. When the onions are ready, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Incorporate the kale, turning it in the oil and onions, cooking for a minute or two. Sprinkle or sift the flour over the kale, tossing and turning the greens to distribute it evenly. Keep turning the greens over as they cook, about 1 minute. Splash the vinegar over the greens and add the crushed dried peppers. Season with salt and ground pepper and turn and toss again, about 30 seconds. Pull the pan across the burner, making the greens roll back and forth. Roll them out onto a serving dish. Scatter the toasted pine nuts over and cover to keep warm until needed.
Note: To prepare kale, remove the heavy ribs. Place one leaf on top of another and roll tightly like a cigar. With a sharp knife, slice the kale crosswise into very fine chiffonade rounds. Then cut the rounds crosswise to shorten the lengths of kale, otherwise, you will have green spaghetti-like strands.