Sweet Braised Kale with Apples and Nuts

Admittedly, I have never been a huge fan of cooked vegetable side dishes.  I would normally choose a fresh salad or crudités over cooked veggies. This Sweet Braised Kale, however, has stolen my heart.

Braising is the most delightful way to cook greens like Kale. Without over-cooking and creating mushy greens, braising tenderizes the leaves and adds flavor.

In this recipe, the kale is paired with the sweet flavors of apples and apple cider. The toasted nuts add a bit of crunch and texture, keeping every bite sweet and delicious.

These sweet, flavor filled greens are easy to eat on their own. It makes an excellent side dish, easily paired with a simple meat dish or pasta.  Because it has been such a big hit at my house, even with the kids, I’m adding it to our Thanksgiving Menu too!  These greens are also delicious paired with a thick slice of crusty bread for an easy, healthy appetizer.

Cooked vegetables like this always look, well, pretty green, if you know that I mean. The first bite will convert you though, I promise. This Sweet Braised Kale is unexpectedly good and I don’t doubt it will steal your heart too.  Enjoy!

Sweet Braised Kale with Apples and Nuts

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 large bunch of curly kale, washed and destemmed
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium honey crisp apple, grated (unpeeled is fine)
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider
1 tablespoon tamari, or soy sauce
1 teaspoon unfiltered apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Tear the washed, de-stemmed kale leaves into bite size pieces.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the walnuts and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the grated apple and sauté for another 3 minutes or until the apple begins to soften. Sprinkle sugar over the apple and walnuts, stirring to coat. Add the kale leaves and sauté over medium heat until the leaves begin to turn bright green.

In a small bowl, combine cider and tamari. Pour into skillet and cover tightly. Cook for 5 minutes, or until greens are tender. Leaves should be green and tasty, not bitter when done. Toss with teaspoon of cider vinegar and serve.

Adapted from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair

by Allison Ruth

Allison Ruth is mama to three hungry girls. She blogs at Some the Wiser where she takes life as it comes and tries to learn a little something as she goes. Whether she’s baking bread, sewing, or contemplating the fate of socks gone missing in the laundry, she looks for the peace and creativity life offers to everyone who is paying attention. Living life deliberately isn’t easy, she admits, but it helps when you have good things to eat. You can also find her at Allison Ruth Photography.