Well, thank goodness for Mark Bittman, who let us know via this op-ed last week that butter and cream are basically good for us. Basically. And phew, just in time. Because this creamy kale has its fair share of butter and milk, and is dee-lectable.
Although really, the shining stars of this dish are the spiced pepitas. The spicy/sweet combo makes you go back for more with reckless abandon. In fact, in the spirit of full disclosure, I'm pretty sure my bowl ended up with a one-to-one ratio of kale to pepitas. Not counting, of course, the fistfuls I devoured as soon as they came out of the oven.
I recommend making a double-batch of these babies, storing them in an air-tight container, and then keeping them with you for any and all times that hunger strikes. Or, go bold and throw them in with your morning yogurt or late-night vanilla ice cream.
Creamed Kale with Caramelized Shallots and Spiced Pepitas
Print this Recipe
For the pepitas:
2 cups shelled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 egg white, whisked until frothy
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix together sugar with all the spices until well combined.
In a large bowl, stir together pepitas with the egg white until evenly covered. Sprinkle sugar/spice mix over pepitas, stirring until well combined.
Spread pepitas evenly on parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring or shaking pan every few minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on parchment, and then break apart with hands. Use immediately or store in an air-tight container.
For the kale:
Adapted from Bobby Flay
2 large bunches of kale, center stalks removed, leaves chopped
5 Tbsp butter, divided
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (we used GF flour and it worked fine)
2 cups whole milk, warmed
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
5 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
Additional salt + pepper as needed
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add in kale leaves and cook until tender, about 12-15 minutes. Drain in colander, return to original pot, and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in onion and saute until translucent. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk, trying your best to whisk away any lumps created by the flour. Turn heat to low and continue to cook until thickened, about 5-10 minutes more. Keep warm while you prepare shallots.
While milk sauce is thickening, begin the shallots. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt remaining 3 Tbsp butter. Add in sugar and stir until dissolved. Add in shallots and saute until they begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until shallots turn a deep caramel color, being careful not to burn.
Pour milk sauce into pot with kale and place over low heat. Simmer, stirring often, until well combined a warmed through, 3-4 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
To serve - spoon creamed kale into bowls. Top with a scoop of the caramelized shallots. Sprinkle with spiced pepitas. Enjoy!