Simple Sautéed Kale with Crispy Pepperoni and Cherry Peppers
Say goodbye to tough, boring kale. We found a better way to sauté.
Why This Recipe Works
Notoriously fibrous and tough, kale is often long-cooked. For a faster way to prepare this hearty green, we sautéed it. To account for the leaves and woody stems cooking at different rates, we cut the leaves into rough 2-inch pieces and the stems into smaller ½-inch pieces so they cooked in the same amount of time. Cooking the kale in oil in a skillet took a long time since we had to wait for each handful to wilt before adding the next. Our solution? We softened all the kale at once by blanching it in boiling water in a Dutch oven first. Once the kale was drained and pressed of excess water, we crisped up ½ cup of chopped pepperoni in extra-virgin olive oil, removed it with a slotted spoon, and then heated sliced garlic and a dash of red pepper flakes in the now-empty Dutch oven before adding the kale. After 5 minutes of stirring, the kale was completely tender and infused with garlicky flavor. We sprinkled the kale with chopped hot cherry peppers and the cooked pepperoni and added a final drizzle of olive oil, producing a flavorful side dish inspired by calzone filling.