I love kale.
I mean, I LOVE KALE! Like, through the roof, off the charts, over the rainbow I love KALE.
It’s an extremely versatile green that can be dressed up or down and give “heft” to a bite instead of mush. I recently visited a Natural Grocers recently (that’s the name of the chain), and found some B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L organic kale. It was almost too pretty to be organic. Suspiciously pretty. This is a pre-rinsing pic:
I also picked up some locally made, uncured, all natural, smoked kielbasa from Pederson Natural Farms. With some new, fresh ingredients to test drive, I went about searching for a recipe involving sausage and kale. I stumbled upon this beauty and decided to try it out. It just so happened that I had everything I needed already in stock.
- olive oil
- 1 kielbasa sausage loop
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
- 1 1/2 cups red wine (optional, but if I had it, I totally would have used it!)
- 1 cup lentils
- 12 cups chopped kale leaves, tough stems removed (I’m not sure if it was 12 cups exactly. It was 1 bunch of kale leaves.)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- pinch of salt
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
Mince your garlic as best as you can; slice your onions; wash and chop your kale.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with a little bit of olive oil to get things going. Pan-fry the sausage, about 2-3 minutes per side. Set aside to cool.
Add more olive oil if needed and sauté your onions. The original recipe said until they brown, and that it would take 5 minutes, but that is a lie. I sautéed until they were soft and looking less white from the bits left by the sausage.
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir. Let them cook until fragrant.
Next pour in the chicken stock and stir it around a little bit. Bring to a boil and add your lentils. Stir. Reduce heat to low-medium and partially cover the pan. You’ll let this simmer for about 30-40 minutes, depending on how soft you want the lentils.
When the lentils are just about done, add in your kale. Be careful! It will overflow the pan, but have patience and toss the lentils with the kale so the leaves cook evenly and shrink in size.
Let this simmer for about 10 minutes or until the kale is tender and the lentils are just right. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, slice the sausage.
Then add it to the pan at the end just to let them warm up again.
Dish it out, and EAT!