Saturday, 20 December 2008

Kale in the City

Yesterday was Christmas shopping for Ian, early and all at once, two days before we take the train away from the city to Stirling, where his family celebrates Christmas every year. The designated idea-person, I tagged along to give him pep talks every once in a while, and to remind him who else was on his list. 

His one stop shopping brought his to a large department store downtown which, luckily for me, is near the only organic store I have found in Edinburgh, Real Foods. I'd been in before, but it's really quite a hike from our tiny apartment. S
o when Ian dismissed me so he could secretly choose my gift, I ran down to this little oasis of whole grains and strange vegetable juices. I bought two bags of my favorite German muesli made with Amaranth (thank you Lena, my Berlin pal), some Dandelion and Burdock soda (so strange, so yummy), and a large bag of gorgeous green Kale. 

Recently I had stumbled on recipes from the The Zuni Café Cookbook, one of them being a recipe involving boiled Kale and fried eggs. So this morning, as the sun barely peaked out its nose from the thick, clouds blowing across the city, I introduced the Scots of the apartment to kale. The original recipe, called for lots of onions and chopping and time. I read through it quickly, and ended up making an abbreviated version t
hat was, nevertheless amazing. I chopped a handful of the dark green leaves into very thin ribbons, and sauteed them with a clove of chopped garlic, some chili flakes, and plenty of salt. I added some chicken broth, just enough to cover the leaves, then let it sit on the stove for about 15 minutes while I drank my morning tea with Emily, Ian, Elaine, and Shirley, a visitor from  Glasgow.

When the kale was getting very soft, slick with broth and swimming next to the little bits of garlic, I toasted two thick pieces of multigrain bread, then lined the sides of a big soup bowl with them. I fried two eggs in olive oil, poured the Kale and broth on top of the toast, followed by the two eggs. Grated Gruyère followed, along with some black pepper.

The kale had been grown in Scotland, but no one at the table had ever eaten it before. I passed the bowl around and everyone took a bite of the dark greens, smothered in creamy yolk and paired with the bread that was just the right amount of soggy to offer a bit of soft chew.

Everyone loved it, and were especially amazed for liking a green vegetable. (Potatoes are the staple "vegetable" here, not much green ever shows up on a dinner plate).

1 comment:

  1. This was the most satisfying and delicious meal on a cold spring night! ...nice and spicy with cayenne, and plenty of cave aged raw milk gruyere.