Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

In case of emergency, kale

I've come to the conclusion that when it comes to kale, you really do have to coat it with animal fat in order to make it delicious enough to eat. Bacon grease and garlic? Oh yes. And if that works, why not the torta?

Herewith, the recipe. The pie turned out every bit as delicious as the spinach, but with twice the calcium. Why is kale so much more nutritious than spinach? I don't know. But when it's mixed with sausage, ricotta, and toasted pine nuts, why ask the difficult questions.

2 sheets puff pastry
1 bunch kale
2 or more links sausage
2 garlic cloves, minced
chopped herbs (thyme, rosemary, basil, anything that sounds good)
15 oz ricotta
1 egg
1 cup toasted pine nuts

Defrost the puff pastry. Meanwhile, steam 1 bunch of kale. Drain and squeeze as much liquid as possible. Chop kale. Squeeze out sausage from casings and brown. Drain.

Line deep pie dish with first puff pastry sheet. Combine kale, sausage, garlic, herbs, ricotta, egg, and pine nuts. Add salt and pepper. Fill pie dish and cover with second pastry sheet. Trim to fit and press edges slightly. You may want to brush the top with another egg. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and looks thoroughly cooked.

I say in case of emergency because the kale torta got us through a household disaster. Thanks to a leak behind the walls the plumbers showed up first thing in the morning to tear out a ceiling-to-floor hole in our bathroom. The leak was fixed, the pipe replaced, and now here we are, with a critter thoroughfare leading into our home. It's times like this that Brownstone Brooklyn really loses its charm.


Hevansrich said...

is it just me, or is there is an eye looking out of your pie?

shaunamama said...

Sorry about the pipes. Owning an older home myself I can totally sympathize there.

The pie sounds tasty..I wonder how it would be with spinach and feta? Since I'm a big chicken in the kitchen why don't you try it and let me know what it's like.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it would work to saute the kale in the sausage grease? I usually opt to saute over drain and squeeze, because besides being a more expeditious way of coating the kale with animal fat, it dries it out without all that tedious squeezing. And one fewer pan to get dirty, etc. etc.

I've also been thinking that I need to make puff pastry a bigger part of my life. :)

Swizzies said...

Oh A - that torn-up bathroom is tragic. How long until the critter highway is closed up again?


I have no opinion on kale.

Swizzies said...

Oh, creepy - Heather's totally right - there is an eye gazing from beneath the puff pastry. Weird. It's like the virgin mary on a grilled-cheese sandwich, only it's a disembodied eye in a kale pie (poetic).


Co said...

Your recipes often make me want to buy this "puff pastry." Why is it I have never used it in my cooking?

I love, love, love kale. My GM used to make it with olive oil, garlic and pignoli. So good.

liz said...

holy cow that sucks, I am sorry!

at least you don't have visitors coming (?).

In our Brooklyn apt the kitchen ceiling fell down cos the people upstairs had a leak they didn't care about. Yeah, friends flew in that night and we had thanksgiving dinner under black trash bags taped to the ceiling. chaaaaaarming.

Adriana Velez said...

Shaunamama, I think the feta would add a nice tangy flavor. I'd just drain it and mash it up to the same consistency as ricotta. For that matter, chevre might be good, too. Maybe I'll try it sometime.

JaneAnne, that's a great idea, though I would worry about making the dish too greasy/heavy.

I LOVE puff pastry. It's one of the great packaged foods. So many uses, and usually the results are very satisfying.

Swizzies and Heather, it's the all-seeing eye of some angry Milanese haunting me for making such a travestry of torta.

ME said...

Plumbing problems are the worst! Hope you're patched up and back to normal soon!

Mary Ellen