Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Kale with garlic and chilli

I didn't die, or get bored with writing the blog, or drink too many hot toddies and then drive into a lampost, while aiming for Waitrose. I went to France - the South of France. To Nice where it is nice. To kvetch about the wedding in French. "Sacre bleu! La robe! La robe N'EST PAS FINI!" And also, it felt like, to eat nothing but baguettes and cheese. Although there was one cheese that was so uric that it tasted exactly like I imagine pissy knickers might taste.

A lot of the cooking was done by my friend Julia Churchill, a brilliant home cook who really ought to be writing about cooking but she's too busy being some kind of high-powered literary agent. Fact about Julia: she once cooked a vegan lemon tart for Lou Reed.

So I came back from France late on Sunday night and dived back into my no-booze all-greens diet. Whoopee!!

Above is some of Monday night's supper (out of shot is a huge, meltingly roasted chicken) and what you're looking at really is the green stuff, which is kale not the carrots, although they were nice too.

I've cooked kale before but I was doing it wrong - I'm pretty sure I just boiled it and plonked it on a plate and it was absolutely disgusting. Beyond disgusting. Giles is a huge greens freak so I grudgingly bought some more last week but was secretly hoping that it would just sit in the larder and go gross and we'd eventually throw it away. But the game was up and he insisted on cooking it last night properly.

This meant me pinching yet another idea off Henry, who braises kale with chilli and garlic. G heated some oil in a large heavy frying pan-thing and added lots of chopped chilli and garlic. Then he added the kale (no water or anything!) and cooked it until it all sort of wilted down like spinach, for about 5-10 minutes. And then we ate it, feeling like such good little citizens and it was actually really nice. Not as good as a hot toddy, but much better than pissy French cheese.


  1. yum. I agree with Giles, greens are good. They aren't pulled pork, but still good in their own way.
    I like the fact that I can say I had a huge bag of spinach for dinner. After you cook it (or Kale,or Swiss Chard, etc) it is just this tiny blob in the pan.
    Glad you made it back. We invited Giles to a Bourne Movie Marathon but he declined. Not that I blame him, but there was popcorn.

  2. pulled pork!! you are so right. with a crispy skin a bit like roast duck. omg omg...

    A Bourne Movie Marathon sounds like fun but Giles is very shy and can't really sit still through even one entire film, let alone 3. I am really looking forward to Green Zone.

  3. Boiling any and every variety of vegetable to death is the worst culinary trait of the English. As soon as water is allowed to come anywhere near cabbage, it's disgusting -- fact. When I rule the world, cabbage will only ever be stir-fried, steamed, braised or shredded raw.

  4. Yum - am also a green fiend and I love kale with garlic. Also, broccoli of any kind stir-fried with soy, chilli, garlic and ginger is ACE. Not many of those 'green' days to go now for you! Est-ce que la robe est fini maintenant?

  5. Alors, Mlle W-W, la robe n'est PAS FINI. Pas du tout. I did wonder how BSG knew when I was getting married. But lawks only knows that old GC isn't shy about telling the whole world when, where, how much it's costing... I must link to yr blog asap, it's vg xxxx