I did it.
I said that I’d start using recipes from the modestly large collection of cookbooks that I have, and I’ve done it. I’m quite chuffed, actually. And it was tasty, too!
I adore watching Nigel Slater on TV. His voice, his mannerisms, his entire presence is so soothing. I can binge watch his programmes and feel quite relaxed by the end. And inspired.
I pulled out his “Kitchen Diaries 2” for this one, and turned to the early months. Landing on February 19th, I came upon an entry about kale, and an accompanying recipe which combines it with chorizo and almonds. Simple, straight forward, full of Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium… (it’s not called a “superfood” for nothing), and not requiring any expensive ingredients (like cauliflower at the moment). I knew it was something that my daughter and I would enjoy, while hubby and The Boy tucked into their leftover chili (not fans of sturdy greens at all).
I wasn’t clear on what “soft cooking chorizo” was, so I picked up something leaning more toward a pepperoni than raw sausage, which is what I imagined him to be calling for. It turns out, after finding the recipe online to link to here, it seems that what I bought was right. Though I don’t think mine was as fatty as Mr. Slater’s, as I needed a bit more oil at the end to coat all of the kale. Or I didn’t render it well. Probably that.
Being me, I did do a couple of things differently. I halved the kale, chorizo and almonds for just the two of us (the full amounts are below, in imperial measures). But I still used a full clove of garlic, minced, albeit a small one. And I finished it all with a splash of white wine that I had on hand, for the acid. But that’s not in the original at all. The kale was a delightful contrast of juicy and toothsome, while the almonds softened and the chorizo provided a great chewy, meaty texture. While greens often need salt, the sausage provides plenty. More really isn’t needed. A little chili flake, fresh chili or simply a spicy chorizo would be fantastic, however. This whole dish was ready in under 20 minutes, including prep, and would be wonderful with crispy pan-fried potatoes, or topped with a fried egg, if one was so inclined.
Kale with Chorizo and Almonds
8 oz curly kale, rinsed, dried and sliced into shreds
8 oz cooking chorizo, in chunky slices
splash of neutral oil
handful of whole, peeled almonds
a clove of garlic, minced
splash of white wine, optional
In a nonstick pan, heat a splash of oil over moderate heat. Add the chorizo and let it get brown, even a little crisp, before turning it over (I wish I had). Obviously you don’t want it to burn before it has a chance to render some of its fat, so mind the heat.
Add the almonds and toss in the fat in the pan. Toss in the garlic and kale. If yours is quite dry, add a teaspoon or so of water. Mix it all around until the kale is glossy and the hue has darkened a bit. Season to taste, adding a little more oil if necessary, and a splash of wine if desired.