Orange-Scented Braised Kale with Pepitas

January 31, 2011 · 11 comments

in dairy-free,healthy,vegetables,vegetarian

You know how sometimes you put on a coat you haven’t worn in a while and unexpectedly find cash in the pockets?  Well, I sometimes flip through the pictures on my hard drive and  unexpectedly find things I haven’t blogged about yet.

I’ve told you before that we eat our weight in kale during the winter months.  More often than not, I sauté or simply braise it, and it works well as a hearty, healthy side.  As with other greens, I w ill occasionally add nuts, usually in the form of pine nuts or slivered almonds.  This time, instead of the almonds, I decided to go for pepitas. I just love love love pepitas when they’re fried up in a skillet.  They get all golden and crisp, but somehow still puffy.  Delicious! I also tried something a little different than the standard lemon juice and went for orange juice.  It brought a nice, new freshness to the kale and tasted great.

So, here’s a great way to use up the abundant kale in your CSA basket or grocery store!

Orange-Scented Braised Kale with Pepitas

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1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. pepitas
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large bunch kale (about 1 lb.), chopped with tough stems removed
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. orange zest
1 Tbsp. orange juice

Heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Once hot, add the pepitas and toast until golden brown.  Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the oil behind in the pan.

Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil and cook about 30 seconds before stirring in the kale.  Cook the kale, stirring, for about a minute before adding the broth and salt and pepper to taste.  Once the broth has come to a boil, cover the pan and continue to cook over medium-low heat until the kale is tender, about 10-15 minutes (longer if you want the kale to be a little softer).

Remove the lid and continue to cook until any additional broth has been absorbed.  Off the heat, stir in the orange zest and juice.  Re-season to taste with salt and pepper if necessary.

Top with the toasted pepitas before serving.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa January 31, 2011 at 9:13 am

Looks fresh and yummy! Thanks for sharing :-)

Reply

Jane January 31, 2011 at 10:36 am

Looks delicious. I, too, eat a lot of kale from our weekly organic shipment. So am always looking for new ways to prepare it. Haven’t cooked with pepitas before so eager to try.

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Jeanette January 31, 2011 at 10:49 am

I love the idea of orange juice and zest and pepitas to mix it up a bit!

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Kira January 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm

This looks absolutely delicious. I love the idea of citrus brightening up the taste of the kale!

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Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul January 31, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Your coat analogy is brilliant…LOL! Love the new direction you’ve taken kale in here Elly. Pepitas and oranges sound simply divine.

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Joan Nova January 31, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I just made something very similar and can speak to its deliciousness.

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bellini January 31, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I love it when we come across something unexpected Elly.

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jhbruno87 February 1, 2011 at 5:27 am

This is good. Because whenever I buy kale, if I’m not explicitly using it in a recipe…I just don’t quite know what to do with it. Also good because I have a bag of pepitas sitting here (and I’m not quite sure HOW they got here). Perfect timing!

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Joanne February 1, 2011 at 5:28 am

sorry, meant to comment from this account. But BASICALLY. You have provided me with a fantastic recipe so that I can dress up my kale in a much more exciting manner than I otherwise would. And I just happen to have a mysterious bag of pepitas sitting here. Perfect timing? yes.

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Rosemary@Sprigs of Rosemary February 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I’ve only used kale a few times — making kale chips and a massaged kale salad. I have braised it, too, but found it wanting something. Now I know — Orange! Thanks! Glad for me you found the photo!

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Lauren Slayton February 4, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I love a blog that can cover key lime cupcakes and kale. This sounds great and a needed departure from kale chips and kale/garlic.

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