Braised Kale with Bacon and Cider

So we grew kale for the first time this year but we weren’t really sure how to eat it.  I looked online for some ideas the other day and found a recipe for Braised Kale with Bacon and Cider on the Cooking Light website (check out the other recipes as well – the Orecchiette with Kale, Bacon, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes looks delicious).  Since we were having ribs and this recipe was supposed to go well with pork, it sounded perfect.  Here’s a picture of the kale before it was chopped and cooked and a copy of the recipe.

Braised Kale with Bacon and Cider (from the Cooking Light website)

Ingredients:

  • 2 bacon slices
  • 1 1/4 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1 (1-pound) bag chopped kale
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups diced Granny Smith apple (about 10 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Place a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon; cook 5 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan. Crumble bacon, and set aside.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high. Add onion to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add kale, and cook 5 minutes or until wilted, stirring frequently. Add cider and vinegar; cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add apple, salt, and pepper; cook 5 minutes or until apple is tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with bacon.

As usual, I never follow a recipe exactly, especially since I am usually missing at least one ingredient. I didn’t use a pound of kale, maybe half that (there’s only two of us afterall!).  I used about a quarter of a pack of bacon instead of two slices (because in my opinion you can’t really go wrong with bacon), 3/4 of a granny smith apple and a teaspoon of white vinegar because we didn’t have any apple cider vinegar.  For the cider, we used Strongbow, but it might have turned out better with a sweeter cider. Here is a picture of the final product and our meal (the beans are also from the garden).

So overall, both Brian and I thought it was quite good and it did go very well with the ribs.  It turns out that kale tastes kinda like broccoli, and is less bitter than swiss chard so it is probably easier to cook with.   Next up, I am going to try adding it to a creamy pasta sauce. 🙂

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Mid-August Harvest – Veggie Update Aug 21

Our gardens have continued to be productive over the last couple weeks.  The latest things that are ready to eat are the orange mini bell peppers and the scarlett runner beans growing up the pillars of our front porch. We also harvested our first cucumber (hopefully we get a few more!).  We are still getting a lot of tomatoes, in particular the black cherry tomatoes, and a lot of ground cherries. Brian put together a veggie feta salad with the ripe tomatoes, cucumber and mini peppers.  Below are some photos of the latest veggies to ripen and Brian’s salad.

On a less positive note, I think that the red tomato cherries I was growing in pots are finally dead.  They have been battling what seems to be a fungal disease and they have officially lost.  According to this article on possible causes of tomato wilt and death I think they suffered from vascular wilt. Oh well, we planted so many tomatoes that I think we can spare three plants!  Here’s picture of one of the unhappy tomato plants.

I also finally got around to planting some cool season crops to harvest in the fall.  I am probably at least a couple weeks late since I think we get our first frost October 5, but I still planted buttercrunch lettuce, snowball turnips and arugula anyways (thanks Patricia for the arugula seeds!).  We left Mika alone in the backyard that same day, and she made quick work of digging up my freshly planted garden.  So the following day I replanted and surrounded that part of the garden bed with chicken wire. Frustrating but she’s been pretty good this year so hard to complain too much. Below is a picture of the back garden and the chicken wire protection.

Speaking of the back garden, we have lots of kale that is ready to eat.  I’ve never cooked with it before, so if anyone has any good recipe ideas, let me know!