From crispy baked kale with Gruyère cheese to a kale and apple salad with pancetta, here are fantastic kale recipes for Thanksgiving.
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Crispy Baked Kale with Gruyère Cheese
Chef Sam Hayward usually tops these lush onion-sweetened greens with an excellent aged raw-milk cheese from Vermont called Tarentaise. He says Gruyère or any other Alpine-style cheese is a great substitute.
Kale & Apple Salad with Pancetta and Candied Pecans
Kale is a marvelous green for salads because it’s hearty enough to handle hefty ingredients like nuts and meat, plus it doesn’t wilt as it sits on the table. When chef Ryan Hardy makes this kale salad for Thanksgiving dinner, he deep-fries the pecans, but it’s quicker (and less messy) to toast them in the oven.
Boiling kale before sautéing it is key to making it tender. If the stems and center veins are very tough, Marcia Kiesel advises removing them: Fold the kale leaves in half with the vein side out, then pull up on the stems.
Paul Kahan serves dishes like spicy pork rinds at his Chicago restaurant, The Publican, but he was game to create a healthy alternative. His idea: a focaccia made with spelt flour, which is high in protein and gives the bread an appealingly hearty texture. Instead of using an excessive amount of cheese or meat, he tops the focaccia with tangy marinated kale, soft and sweet slices of winter squash and a few shavings of nutty, salty pecorino cheese.
To balance the heartier dishes on his menu, Marcus Samuelsson stirred ginger and turmeric into this vegetable side dish to give it a kick, then added cream and buttermilk to smooth and soften the spicy flavors. This easy recipe can be made well ahead of time and would be fantastic with any kind of feast including Thanksgiving.
“I like the idea of making a healthy kind of potato chip that’s not one of those packaged, dehydrated vegetable chips,” Seamus Mullen says. He roasts kale with extra-virgin olive oil and garlic until it’s crunchy.