Kale, yeah! A recipe to celebrate the in-season, in-the-moment vegetable - GulfToday

Kale, yeah! A recipe to celebrate the in-season, in-the-moment vegetable

food 22

A dish featuring kale is this Roasted eggplant with crispy kale with yogurt. TNS

I’m not a fan of kale. When kale is on a menu and something else is offered, I always feel like I have been given a Get Out of Kale Free card.

But kale is in season, and it is positively stuffed full of vitamins and other things that are good for you. Besides, some people — even some people I know, probably — actually like kale.

So I decided to cook up four batches of it to see if there were ways I could come to enjoy it.

And enjoy it I did. If all kale tasted like this, I might even become a fan.

I stayed in the Mediterranean region for Roasted Eggplant and Crispy Kale With Yogurt, which may be the most Mediterranean food ever.

It’s a layered dish, and the bottom layer is essentially tzatziki — a thick yogurt mixed with shredded cucumber, garlic and lemon juice. On top of that goes bite-sized pieces of roasted eggplant. The kale is next, but it has been flash-cooked so it is lightly scorched and lightly crispy. And the top layer is cherry tomatoes that have been halved and tossed with olive oil and salt.

ROASTED EGGPLANT AND CRISPY KALE WITH YOGURT

Yield: 4 servings

2 medium eggplants, about 11/2 pounds total, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

6 Tuscan kale leaves, ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely torn

1 medium cucumber

1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 garlic clove, finely minced

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

Olive oil for drizzling

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Toss eggplants with vegetable oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Roast, tossing halfway through, until eggplants are charred in spots and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cumin and toss to coat.

3. Meanwhile, heat a dry, large skillet over medium-high heat. Add kale, arranging to fit in a single, even layer (work in batches if needed). Cook, turning occasionally, until charred in spots and crisp, about 4 minutes. If using curly kale, weigh it down with another pan while it cooks.

4. Grate cucumber on the medium holes of a box grater; squeeze out excess liquid with your hands and transfer to a medium bowl. Mix in yogurt, lemon juice and garlic; season with salt.

5. Toss tomatoes with a good pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil in a medium bowl. Spoon yogurt mixture onto a platter and layer eggplants, kale and tomatoes on top. Drizzle with more olive oil.

Tribune News Service