Sunday, March 1, 2009

Kale Braised with Carmelized Onions and Rutabagas

One thing I've learned about cooking is that you can never have too many carmelized onions! They are so very delicious that sometimes I eat them as a vegetable. I should have gone food shopping yesterday, but didn't want to brave the Saturday crowds, so I had a look in the fridge to see what I could put together. I had a lovely bunch of curly kale and a medium-sized rutabaga as well as a few onions, so this dish was born. Its really a riff on Italian minestra, which is garlicky greens and beans, and southern-style turnip greens with turnips. Whatever it is, it certainly is delicious - so delicious that I ate half of it in one sitting. Luckily, its pretty healthy, so no problem. The rest was packaged up for work lunches this coming week.

Kale Braised with Carmelized Onions and Rutabagas
2 Tbs butter or margerine
4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 onions halved and sliced very thin
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 Tbs smoked paprika
1 Tbs garlic salt/Adobo seasoning
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 bunch curly kale
2 Tbs water

In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, melt half the butter and 1 Tbs of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute, stirring often, for about 10 minutes until starting to carmelize and brown. Add the remaining oil, minced garlic, rutabaga, paprika, salt and pepper, stir well so that everything is coated with oil and spices. Turn heat down to medium, cover tightly, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring twice, until rutabagas are just barely tender. Add water to keep from sticking if necessary - this should not be necessary if your pot is nonstick. Uncover, add the kale and stir well. Cover again and let steam for about 4 - 5 minutes, until kale is wilted. Stir well and adjust for salt and pepper.

The onions continued to carmelize as the other veggies were cooking and ended up sweet and almost sticky, as did the rutabagas, which also were beginning to carmelize. This would be yummy with a spritz of lemon juice, or even balsamic vinegar to cut the buttery richness of the oil. I used Earth Balance spread rather than butter, since that's what I had in the house (Lent is upon us, you know), and it was yummy. I think this would be a fabulous base for a pasta salad - just stir in about a half pound of pasta, cooked al dente.

Again, I have no photo, and I apologize. I've unpacked the camera, but haven't found the charger yet, so photos will have to wait. Suffice it to say that this was a very pretty dish, with the small orange cubes peeking out from the dark green of the kale. In the meantime, I'll continue posting vegan recipes with photos from the archives of my omni cooking blog.

In the Orthodox Church, the Rite of Forgiveness at vespers this Sunday afternoon is the official beginning of the fast, of Great Lent. Every person in the parish, from the youngest to the oldest, will line up and ask forgiveness of each other for what they have done and what they have failed to do during the past year. There is always much hugging and many tears as hurts are forgiven. It never fails to move me, and humble me as well. So, in the spirit of Forgiveness Sunday, dear brothers and sisters, I ask you to forgive me for my sins and offenses, for what I have done and what I have failed to do, for how I have consistently missed the mark and fallen short of Christ's example.

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