Gluten-free, Side Dishes, Vegan/Vegetarian

Sauteed Kale, Italian-style (aglio olio & peperoncino)

Nicoletta October 27, 2020

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Sauteed Kale, Italian-style (aglio olio & peperoncino). Beautiful kale leaves are boiled first, then sauteed in a pan with garlic, oil, and chili flakes. This easy method of cooking is typically Italian; we cook all kinds of greens like that: cicoria (dandelion), kale, broccolini, rapini, Swiss chard, spinach. Kale sauteed the Italian way is very flavorful, perfectly tender, with some crispy bits. A wonderful side dish, that we like to accompany with any kind of toasted bread.

Song of the day: The Way It Is – Bruce Hornsby

 Sauteed Kale-platter-pita

The “trinity” of aglio olio & peperoncino is the base for many Italian recipes. It is the start of some amazing dishes: from pasta to protein, to side dishes, they all have in common the first sautee in the pan of garlic, oil & chili flakes which create a sinfully delectable combination.

 

Kale

In brief, I don’t know about you, but I love my greens. As most Italians do, different kinds of greens are part of everyday meals. Not only salads but cooked greens, like chicory/dandelion, broccolini, rapini, spinach, Swiss chard. They are healthy, flavorful, and a great partner to many a dish! Just absolutely love it!

Specifically, kale is in season right now, and you could use any type: curly, Tuscan (cavolo nero),  Russian, Redbor. We buy it in bunches at our local farmer’s market, or like here, in bags of mixed types.

  1. To clean it, just pull the kale leaves from their stems, then tear leaves into pieces and wash thoroughly.
  2. After, bring a large pot of water to boil. Place the leaves in and boil for 5-7 minutes in boiling water until bright green and slightly softened. Drain with a colander.

Easy, breezy

  • Next, heat up a large saute pan with evo oil, garlic, and a pinch of peperoncino, and sautee for 1-2 minutes to infuse the oil.

Sauteed Kale-pan-kale

  • Then add the kale leaves, adjust with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Sautee for 5-10 minutes on medium heat, stirring often. The longer you sautee it, the crispier it gets. Come on, we have to be honest here, garlic and olive oil makes anything taste good, right?

Sauteed Kale-pan-sauteeing

  • Lastly, enjoy a nice plateful with your favorite bread! Nothing like a kale and bread sandwich! Yum!

Sauteed Kale-platter-pita-text on photo

Always a favorite!

Ultimately, once you try this, it will be a go-to side dish time and again! It has that wonderful earthy subtly bitter flavor from the kale, that is kicked up by the flavor of the garlic, olive oil, and chili flakes. Furthermore, if you sautée it a bit more, you are going to get these crispy bits, like kale chips, and once you have had one bite, another is in order, and another, and another. I think you get the just of it, lol! 

Are you looking for a wonderful side dish that is packed with flavor and texture? Try this Sauteed Kale, Italian-style (aglio olio & peperoncino)! You definitely won’t be disappointed!

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Sauteed Kale-platter-pita

Sauteed Kale, Italian-style (aglio olio & peperoncino)

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x
  • Category: Side dish, Vegan
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 bag mixed kale (2 bunches, about 300 g)
  • 2 Tbsp evo oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • pinch of chili flakes (peperoncino)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pull the kale leaves from their stems, then tear leaves into pieces. Wash thoroughly.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Place the leaves in, toss, and boil for about 5-7 minutes in boiling water until bright green and slightly softened. Drain with a colander.
  3. Heat up a large saute pan with evo oil, garlic, and a pinch of chili flakes. Sautee for 1-2 minutes, then add the kale leaves, adjust with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
  4. Sautee for 5-10 minutes on medium heat, stirring often. The longer you sautee it, the crispier it gets, like kale chips.
  5. Turn off the heat and plate.

Notes

If you do not want to boil the kale first, you could wash it and place the wet leaves in the sautee pan, then cover. It will start to wilt and steam. I find that, when the kale is done this way, it is more bitter and the leaves are a tad harder.

As for the garlic, you could mince it or slice it, we prefer to smash the garlic whole, add it to the pan and take it out after. It flavors the oil anyway.

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Sauteed Kale-platter-closeup

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4 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Andrea Howe November 1, 2020 at 10:21 am

    This sounds so delicious. I love sautéed kale but get bored with my usual way of cooking it. Can’t wait to try this recipe to mix it up!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 2, 2020 at 8:10 am

      Thank you! This kale is not boring at all, but very flavorful and perfect side to many dishes 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Beth November 1, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    I love this dish and how it’s retained so much of it green color during the cooking process. Yay kale!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta November 2, 2020 at 8:11 am

      Thanks for the feedback! We love kale cooked this way and we make it at least once a week.

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