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Braised Kale With Caramelized Onions

Kale is by far my favorite green, and it has been ever since I realized I liked any greens at all. This happened when I worked at Real Food Daily in Santa Monica, a premier organic vegan restaurant with a menu that features veggies of the day.

So with a new green on the menu daily, I began to experiment and try them all. I practically overdosed on mustard greens, collards, Swiss chard, and kale. Well, we did get free leftovers at the end of the night, so I couldn’t resist. I loved them all, but kale definitely stood out as my favorite.

This is going to sound incredibly corny, but during this time I realized that I love not only the taste of the leafy green and the fact that it maintains its structure even when cooked until soft but also that each bite makes you feel incredibly healthy. This is no doubt because of the high vitamin and antioxidant content of kale.

I am a purist and love my kale just steamed with a little tamari (also a RFD influence), but every once in a while I like to do more. Below is a recipe for braised kale, but you can also try it in soup, veganized mashed potatoes, or a dip.

Braised Kale With Caramelized Onions

8 cups torn and stemmed kale pieces, firmly packed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp. cider vinegar

  • In 2 batches, blanch the kale for 2 minutes in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water. Transfer with tongs to a colander and drain well.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook until the onions are golden brown, stirring frequently.
  • Add the garlic, kale, and stock and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender.
  • Add the cider vinegar in the last minute of cooking, then remove from the heat. Serve immediately.
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  • Amy says:

    Hi Ron,
    Thanks for the input. As for the braise/blanch question, my understanding is that to blanch a vegetable you add it to boiling water for a short period of time then you immediately plunge it into cold water to stop the cooking process. This helps retain a bright, vibrant color and crispy texture. As for blanching, I had never blanched anything in my life before trying this recipe! I found a ‘Braised Kale’ recipe that I veganized, but did not change the cooking instructions. I now know that the only thing missing from the braising instructions above is that I should have covered the pot with a tightly covered lid.

    As for the inaccuracies, I hope it’s clear that I am in no way trying to pretend that I am a food expert. I’m simply an at home cook who finds or creates recipes, tests them all, and then writes about them. Because I’m not an expert, I’m affraid there will be inaccuracies from time to time but we do try to avoid them when possible.

    Please, if you ever see one don’t hesitate to leave a comment! I would greatly appreciate it and I’m sure the other readers would too.

    Hope that helps. Thanks again for the input and for reading!

    All the best,

  • Ron Wilson says:

    Is braised kale the same as blanched kale? Seems to me all you are doing is blanching it…. so why is the recipe called “Braised” Kale?

    I enjoy and appreciate this blog but have found inaccuracies in severak recipes I have tried. There needs to be more testing and proofing prior to publishing a recipe.


  • Nancy Eleen Patino Marin says:

    Sounds Yummy,

    another way to do is with fresh garlic olive oil and some boilet potates, mixed all, your favor seasoning (for me is ground cummin), and finally on top some pinto beans….is delicious…

    try guys and let me know if you like it or not.

    Bonne apetite

  • Vegyogini says:

    Wow, you worked at Real Food Daily? I’ve been a regular at the two existing locations (and the Beverly Hills location during the short time that it existed) for a good 10 years now. That’s so cool!