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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