kale with seaweed and sesame

Over the last six months, I’ve been trying to grow dinosaur kale. I have not been successful. The kale in my garden look like miniature versions of what I buy at the market every week. It wont die, but it will not grow. I don’t get it. Maybe it’s because I grew them from seed. Maybe I waited too long to transplant. Maybe they need a bigger bed. Maybe they don’t like their neighbors Fava, Sage and Chard. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I’ve finally accepted the fact that they’re not going to get any bigger. I somehow stunted their growth. I’ve been a bad mama to my kale.

I couldn’t give up the fight that easily, so I bought new kale seedlings at the farmers market over the weekend. Keep your fingers crossed. I also picked up two bunches of red kale, one green kale and one dino kale. Sounds like a lot of kale, but I could eat this stuff every day (and sometimes I do). I love it. And it makes me feel healthy. Dinosaur kale has become my favorite over the years, but I have a new found appreciation for good ol’ curly kale.

That might have to do with the kale with seaweed that I buy in the deli section at Whole Foods. It’s one of my on-the-go favorites. I’ve always cooked my greens the same way: sauteed in olive oil with onion and garlic, red pepper flakes, and a squeeze of lemon or mixed in with my lentils. Which is great, but I’ve been ready to switch things up. I like this little number at Whole Foods because of its Japanese flare; it’s sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and seasoned with ginger and soy. It’s a nice change of pace from my usual.

I did a little search for the recipe a few weeks ago and luckily for me, Elise from Simply Recipes is also a fan of this kale goodness and posted a recipe. I’ve made it three weeks in a row and can’t get enough. It’s great straight out of the skillet, but I actually really enjoy it cold, the way Whole Foods does it, because it’s more like a salad. Eat your greens. Then go and have some dessert.

kale with seaweed and sesame

adapted from Simply Recipes

serves 2-4

1/2 cup dried arame sea vegetables (food-grade seaweed)

dark sesame oil, about 2 tablespoons

1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger

1 bunch kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped (I used a combination of red and green kale)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon soy sauce, diluted with 2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Rinse the seaweed in water and let soak for 5-7 minutes. Drain seaweed and place in a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of dark sesame oil and the minced ginger.

In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil on medium heat. Add garlic and gently sauté for one minute (be careful not to burn the garlic). Add the seaweed and ginger and gently cook for 1 minute. Remove the mixture from the pan and pour back into the bowl. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in the skillet. Add the chopped kale. Add the soy sauce mixture. Gently toss in the pan to coat the kale with the oil and soy. Continue to stir until kale is slightly wilted. Cook a minute more to evaporate any excess moisture. Remove from heat. Add the seaweed ginger mixture and toss to combine. Add more sesame oil and soy sauce to taste. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.