Lacinato Kale with Bacon & Pine Nuts
Lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale, Tuscan kale and cavolo nero, has a husky, almost meat-like depth of flavor and a texture that is sturdier, even when tender, than other winter greens. These qualities, combined with the smokiness of the bacon in this recipe, make a perfect counterpoint to the creamy risotto.
-MICHELE ANNA JORDAN
|Number of Servings:||Serves 6 to 8|
|Ingredients:||3 bunches (about 21⁄2 pounds) lacinato kale
5 bacon slices, preferably dry-cured
1 shallot, minced
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
Red pepper flakes
Zest of 1 lemon
1⁄2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
|Directions:||Use a sharp paring knife to remove the stems and tough ribs from the kale. Cut the leaves into 2-inch-wide crosswise slices. Put the cut leaves into a large colander; rinse but do not dry as you want water to cling to the leaves. Set aside.
Fry the bacon in a large deep saute pan until crisp; transfer to absorbent paper to drain. (Once cool, crumble the bacon.) Pour off all but about 1⁄3 cup of the bacon fat, return the pan to medium heat, add the shallot and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Season with salt and 2 or 3 pinches of pepper flakes. Add the kale and sauté for about 2 minutes, stirring all the while. Cover the pan and cook over low heat until the kale is tender, about 12 to 15 minutes; uncover and stir now and then. Remove from the heat. Fold in the lemon zest, half the bacon and half the pine nuts, taste and correct for salt. Transfer to a serving bowl, scatter the remaining bacon and pine nuts on top and serve.