Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sausage and Kale Saute

I thought I would share one of the delicious dishes Jeff and I made with our farmers market finds from last week, discussed in this post. We took the sweet sausage from Beech Tree Farm in Hopewell and the kale from North Slope Farm in Lambertville (supplemented with some store-bought kale - we didn't have enough!) and made this delicious saute.

The pork was perfect for this recipe - flavorful without being too greasy. The sausage casings came off easily and the meat crumbled well in the pan. There's nothing like fresh sausage for something like this. I remember how I used to try to remove store-bought chicken sausages from their casings - it just doesn't work. I'm sticking with the good stuff from now on. Some of the kale was slightly bitter, but the sweetness of the red peppers balanced it out nicely. The original recipe included maple syrup, perhaps to balance the bitterness of the kale, but we didn't notice its presence at all, so I wouldn't bother including it from now on.

Overall, this is a bright, tasty dish - definitely my favorite kale recipe. The vivid colors brighten up a winter table, too!

Sausage and Kale Saute
Adapted from The Locavore's Kitchen.

2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 lb sweet Italian sausage (if using links, remove the casings)
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced (I used strips that I had frozen in the fall - this was probably my best preserving idea of the season. Next year, I plan on freezing a ton of these. Much better than paying $4-5/lb for off-season peppers, and they still taste great!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb kale, chopped
2 tbsp water
salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat (you will need a pot with high sides to contain all the kale). Add the sausage, breaking it up into small chunks, and cook 10-15 minutes, until thoroughly cooked and beginning to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper-towel lined plate to drain.

Keep the pan on the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. When it's hot, add the onion and red pepper to the pan. Saute until soft, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.

Add the kale and stir until slightly wilted, tossing with the oil and veggies. Add the reserved sausage and 2 tbsp water (to help steam the kale a bit) and stir well. Cover the pot and cook an additional 5-10 minutes, until the kale is tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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