Friday, July 26, 2013

Farm Fridays: Sauteed Kale with Bacon

My farm share has been looking pretty scanty lately. The crop loss and delayed plantings due to the eight inches of rain we had in June are finally having an impact on my basket. The quality of the produce hasn't suffered, though. I brought home two bunches of beautiful curly kale this week. One of them will be making its way into a casserole in a few days, but I decided that the rest of it ought to be used immediately, while it was still so wonderfully fresh and crisp. I had a single strip of bacon in the freezer, left over from something we made a few weeks ago, so this dish was a no-brainer.

Why is it that the dark greens - kale, spinach, collards - which are so wonderfully healthy and good go so well with bacon, which, despite its deliciousness, is one of the least healthy foods in the universe? And bacon is so efficient: cooking oil, flavor agent and meaty goodness all in one! Even better, I threw this dish together in my cast iron skillet, so that bacony flavor will be infused in future dishes. That one strip of bacon wears many hats (not to mention artery clogger and cholesterol raiser).

I'm not really trying to scare you off the bacon, though. Everything in moderation, right? It's just one strip of bacon, and its ill effects are (maybe) counteracted by the pile of vitamin- and fiber-full greens. We all want to be healthy, but we have to live a little, too. And somewhere in the midst of that compromise, my friends, this dish lies. So enjoy your bacon. And enjoy your kale.

Sauteed Kale with Bacon

1 strip thick-cut smoked bacon
1/2 onion
4 oz kale
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and saute 3-4 minutes, until the fat has rendered and the edges begin to crisp.

Add the onion and saute another 4-5 minutes, until softened and translucent.

Finally, add the kale (in batches, if necessary - I managed to squeeze it all into this pan at once, but it was a stretch). Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted but still vibrantly green, about 7-8 minutes.

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