Sunday, June 12, 2011

Grilled Coconut Kale

I found many online versions of kale with coconut milk, but I was particularly intrigued by the ones that called for grilling the kale. So I was thrilled that we got to choose kale as part of our CSA share this week. (I bought coconut milk ahead of time just in case.) Here's what I did:

Kale (one bunch)
Coconut milk (one 13.66-ounce can or thereabouts; please skip the lower-fat light coconut milk!!)
Lemon juice (a couple tablespoons)
Coarse salt (1/2 tablespoon or so)
Ground cayenne pepper (1/2 teaspoon or so)
Sweet paprika (1/2 teaspoon or so)

What I did: Remove the center stalk of each kale leaf and compost it. Tear the remaining greens into pieces, but try to keep the pieces pretty large. (After all, you're grilling them; you don't want them to fall through the slats.)

What you should do: Follow my advice in the comments section and grill the kale leaves whole.

In a small pot, heat the coconut milk over low until just slightly warm, stirring until it's smooth. Put into a glass dish or bowl. Add the lemon juice, salt, cayenne, and paprika. I whisked everything together to break up the paprika and cayenne. Stir in the kale until it's thoroughly coated with the marinade.

(Steve took this photo after I'd already started grilling; there was a lot more kale in the dish before.)

Cover the dish and put it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

At mealtime, place marinated kale pieces on the grill over high heat. Grill for about a minute (or slightly under), then flip the pieces and grill for another minute or so before removing.

This was delicious. It is easily the tastiest kale I've ever eaten. We all ate every bit of our kale, and we definitely will be repeating this recipe. Steve said that he used to be an anti-kale person, but this recipe has converted him.

Next time, we'll marinate and grill the kale leaves whole, rather than tearing them into pieces; we can always cut out the stalks after grilling if need be. It was quite the process to lay out all those little kale pieces on the grill, then turn them (all the while trying to keep them from falling through), then take them off the grill, then add more kale pieces to the grill . . . It would be so much easier to just lay out a few whole leaves.

We had extra marinade after putting the kale on the grill, and it seemed too much of a waste to just throw it away. Next time, I think we could probably make 1 1/2 times as much kale with this amount of marinade. Or we could double the marinade recipe and use three bunches of kale. I'm sure we'd still eat all of it. In the meantime, we've saved the surplus and are planning to use it when we sauté the spinach we got in this week's share.

Thanks, Steve, for thinking to take photos during the grilling process!

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