Sauteed Kale Caprese

Welcome to another edition of What I’ve Been Eating for a Week Straight.  I think of this as a salad but it could easily be a side dish.  Whatever it is, I have found myself preparing this easy, delightful meal for lunch on the daily this summer.  It’s…lovely.  Light and clean and balanced.  It just makes you feel good.  Unpolluted, if you will.

We’ve been eating a lot more produce and a lot less meat lately.  It’s cheaper, which is great.  But first and foremost, after watching the documentary “Forks Over Knives”, we felt compelled to make some changes to our diet.  (If you have netflix you can view it on streaming.  I highly recommend it.)   Hot dogs, blocks of cheese, and pepperoni really should not be constants in the refrigerator if you know what I mean.

We have not gone vegan, nor vegetarian, and I very much doubt we ever will.  I honestly would rather take a shortened lifespan than give up dairy.  I do loves my cheese.  But we are eating a whole lot more leafy greens, vegetables in general, and plant based proteins than ever before and that is a good thing.

You can prepare this salad in about 3 minutes.

First, mince a couple cloves of garlic and chop up a plum tomato.  Or you could use a handful of cherry tomatoes if you have them on hand – even easier!

Pour a couple tablespoons olive oil in a big, deep pan and heat over Medium High.  This is my stir fry pan – it works perfectly.

When the oil just begins to faintly smoke, add in as much chopped kale as will fit in your pan.  It’s going to reduce down in volume in just a second here.  To save time, I buy the pre-chopped, pre-washed kale in the bag.  Lunch at my house is a hectic time, man.

…Blurry, sorry…  Once the kale has gotten a little bit more manageable, maybe 30 seconds in, add in the garlic and the tomatoes.  I don’t throw the garlic in first on this one because everything goes so hot and fast it’s too easy to burn it.

After about another minute, remove your greens and other loveliness to a plate and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Salt is important in this dish!  You want salt.  Salt is good.

Next, top with a couple slices of fresh mozzarella.  The heat from the greens will just start to melt the cheese… mmmm nummy.  Again – to save time – I buy the pre-sliced stuff they sell at Sam’s Club.  I normally only top with two slices… but that makes for a bad picture so you see three here.

And lastly, drizzle the whole thing with a little balsamic glaze.  You can buy balsamic glaze at the grocery store (ours stocks it with the other vinegars), or you can make your own by  reducing a 16 oz bottle of balsamic vinegar over low-medium heat down to about 1/2 a thick, syrupy cup.  (If you’re making your own, make sure to do it on a day when you can open the windows or your whole house will smell like vinegar!)

I took the photo above out on my deck with the baby running around me with a train in hand (if you look closely you can see her).  We sat outside in the beautiful sunshine and shared our good, wholesome food.  Just a simple, happy afternoon.  Hope you all get to do the same today 🙂

Enjoy!

Sauteed Kale Caprese

4 cups raw, chopped kale

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 plum tomato, chopped (or a handful of cherry tomatoes)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced

balsamic glaze for drizzling

Instructions:

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep pan (like a wok) over Medium High heat until the oil faintly smokes.

Fill the pan with kale and, using tongs, turn it until all the kale starts to wilt, about 30 seconds.

Add in garlic and tomatoes, continuing to turn it until no raw bits of kale remain, about another 60 seconds.

Remove kale mixture to a plate and season with salt and pepper.

Top with mozzarella and balsamic glaze.

Serve immediately.

Serves 1 as a main dish, 2-4 as a side

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