Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Flowering Kale sauteed with Seitan, Spinach Filo with Potato and Roasted Pepper

At the store today, I was happy to find some beautiful flowering kale. They had both purple (which I bought - surprise, surprise!) and white. I experimented and my wife and I were delighted with the result!

I cut some seitan into small chunks, maybe 1/4 - 1/2" in size. I sauteed the seitan in an infused roasted garlic - rosemary olive oil. As it browned, I added some organic red onion cut into half moon slivers and only cooked for another minute or so before adding a little mustard seed and the beautiful kale leaves. I stir fried for a few minutes, adding some salt. Then I reduced the heat and poured a little Drew's Thai Sesame Lime dressing /marinade into the pan, stirring it and letting it absorb into the ingredients. I repeated a minute later, then served. It looked great and tasted very nice - the leaves had a slight crunch and the veins and all were quite edible.

Surprisingly, flowering kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala; also known as ornamental kale, salad savoy, flowering cole, or flowering cabbage) is conventionally used as a garnish and not cooked, or even just as a showy garden plant purely for its beauty. But this beauty is brainy too - it tastes great and is nutritionally considered by some to be the king of the greens. It is a great source of vitamins A and C, and also offers vitamin E, fiber, iron, and other minerals. As can be expected by its bright colors, it is rich in phytochemicals, which are known to have strong disease fighting properties. I tried to cook it minimally as I suspected the color may fade - subsequent reading seems to confirm this and encourage eating the more tender interior leaves raw.

Tomorrow in cooking class I am going to be showing my students how to cook with filo dough. One shortcut is to buy prepared shells, which I rarely do. But I did tonight for a nice and convenient side dish. I found some Athens mini filo shells with spinach in the dough, marked as new (so new that I don't even see it on their website). It is a simple matter of filling the shells and serving cold or heating. This was supposed to be a quick dinner as my wife has an early morning call (6a!) for work tomorrow and we got home hungry from working out after 9:30, so I made a basic filling of seasoned mashed potatoes with chunks of roasted bell pepper (that I had made yesterday) and a dot of hot sauce. I heated this in a 350°F toaster oven for about 5 minutes.

A salad and hot freshly baked (I bought a bag of frozen prepared bread, ready to be baked) ciabatta rolls rounded out the meal. My one regret is not to have taken a closeup picture of the kale before cooking it - I guess I'll have to buy some more :-) !


At Tue Dec 05, 01:11:00 PM EST, Blogger bazu said...

Wow, I never knew flowering kale was edible- I learn something new every day!

At Tue Dec 05, 02:33:00 PM EST, Blogger Dilip said...

It tastes great, bazu. I look forward to cooking with it again, soon - and hopefully to taking some pictures of the kale intact before cooking. Thanks for your comment.

At Wed Dec 06, 10:00:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i absolutely love the food photo!

At Wed Dec 06, 12:42:00 PM EST, Blogger Dilip said...

Thanks, johanna3!

At Fri Dec 15, 01:42:00 PM EST, Blogger teresa said...

hi, dilip and sangeeta!
sam and i loved the chocolate baklava. it was perfect - not overly sweet like some i've had! thanks for sharing these great pictures...but now i've got to stop working and get something to eat!

At Fri Dec 15, 01:54:00 PM EST, Blogger Dilip said...

Thanks - I'm glad you were at the holiday party on Saturday and could try the baklava. You can see my recipe at dilip.info/baklava.html. We made another batch last night for my wife to take to work as a surprise - she should be serving it right about now, in fact! Thanks for your kind words.


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