Sometime just before Thanksgiving of last year my friend Jim and I were chatting about our kids. The conversation wound here and there, meandered across a range of subjects, geographies, and finally, time. It reached way back into my past—all the way back to college days—and then skipped ahead a month or two. Somehow we realized we had a mutual friend, Mickey. I was close buds with Mickey in college (but we lost track of each other after graduation) and Jim had recently met him through church.
It happens that Mickey was going to be the keynote speaker at an upcoming seminar at the church Jim attends. It was the perfect opportunity to reunite with my old friend. Needless to say I was more than a little excited about that possibility.
The day came and there was Mickey. All the years erased and we fell back into the easy conversation we’d always shared. Jim, and his wife, Teresa, invited us all back to their home for lunch so we could spend a little time together to catch up on life over those many years. What a perfect afternoon spent with old friends and older friends.
The guys chowed down on locally made submarine sandwiches. (For you in other locales that would be grinders, heros, hoagies, torpedos…). But, Teresa, wonderful Teresa, almost apologetically offered sauteed kale and beet greens. Woohoo! She made a huge, huge, huge pan of this wonderful recipe and we consumed it by the bowlful. (OK, now the guys, they didn’t even look longingly at our lunch. Jim may have displayed an involuntary facial twitch I’d never seen before but the other three—Mickey, my husband, and Jim and Teresa’s son—didn’t even seem to see the greens. Denial, my friends, total denial born of deeply seated lachanophobia. Fear of vegetables.)
The colors of the beet greens and kale, along with the pattern of the bowl it was served in, was festive. The flavor was subtle and wonderful. The company upbeat and comfortable. It was a day I’m going to enjoy remembering for a long time to come.
And, you can enjoy Teresa’s festive Kale & Beet Greens with Pecans any time the mood hits you. It’s simple to make, very flavorful, and so good for you.
Love that Diane Elbin of The W.H.O.L.E Gang features a weekly collection of recipes focused one key ingredient. It’s a great place to share—and receive—great cooking ideas. Be sure to visit and check out all the fabulous kale recipes that have been posted!
Teresa’s Kale & Beet Greens with Pecans
1 large bunch kale, ribs removed, chopped
1 bunch beet greens, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ginger
3-4 tablespoons of Pecans (you can toast them for about 3-4 minutes to improve flavor)
Orange zest (optional)
Sea salt to taste
Gently clean the kale and beet greens under cool running water.
Remove the stems from the beet greens and chop them into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces.
Remove the ribs from the kale and discard. Chop the kale and beet leaves into 1/2-3/4 inch strips.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add garlic and chopped beet stems. Saute about 5 minutes until garlic and stems are softened.
Add the beet and kale greens and saute adding ginger and salt to taste. (I recommend using freshly grated ginger but powdered ginger will work, as well.) Turn the greens in the pan using a large pair of tongs. The water clinging to the washed greens is typically enough to steam them a bit but, if needed, you can add a few extra tablespoons. Saute until soft—about 5-7 minutes longer.
Serve sprinkled with toasted pecans. A small amount of orange zest, if you have it, provides a colorful garnish for this dish.