Sauteed Kale with Pancetta

A nutritional powerhouse, kale is truly one of my all-time favorite vegetables and I find ways to put it in everything from soups and salads to frittatas.  Simply sauteing with a little garlic and onion is a quick and delicious preparation and a superb salad substitute.  Adding a small amount of pancetta will add a smoky, bacon-like flavor to the kale while detracting very little from its inherent virtuous qualities.

Sauteed Kale with Pancetta
  • 1 bunch kale, preferably dinosaur or lacinato
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or just enough to oil your pan)
  • 1 small onion, sliced or chopped
  • 1-2 slices pancetta (about 1/4″ inch thick), diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
  • a few grates of fresh nutmeg
  1. Chop the kale, separating the stems so that you can cook them first.
  2. In a large saute pan or cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the onion and pancetta over medium-high heat until the onion starts to soften and the pancetta gets a little crispy. Stir in the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.  Add the kale stems and cook until they begin to soften.  Then add the chopped kale leaves and continue to saute, turning so the top layers rotate to the bottom of the pan and all the leaves start to wilt.  Dinosaur or Lacinato kale have tender leaves and do not require a long cooking time.  I like to remove the pan from the heat while the leaves are still bright green and before they are completely wilted.  If desired, sprinkle a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg over the top.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen

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