Sauteed Kale

Recipe contributed by Elizabeth Schwartz; photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  6 to 8 servings
Prep Time:  10 minutes Cook Time:  45 minutes

Sauteed Kale

I hate to sound like a hipster, but I’ve been making this dish long before kale was discovered as the coolest plant on the planet. My husband Yale likes it, too. I think this dish serves four Yales, but in reality, probably serves six to eight non-Yales as a side dish.—Elizabeth Schwartz


1 head garlic

¼ cup good-quality olive oil, plus more for drizzling

2 large bunches kale, washed thoroughly, tough stems removed (see Kitchen Tip)

4 to 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ cup grated Parmesan



  1. Roast the garlic: Preheat oven to 350°F, the slice off the top of the head, drizzle with olive oil and place on a sheet of foil; seal the foil and roast for 35 to 45 minutes, until softened (the cloves should pop out with a gentle squeeze). Remove 10 cloves from the head and slice thinly. Reserve the remaining cloves to spread on bread or for another use.
  2. Rip the kale into bite-sized pieces. Pour enough water into a large stockpot to come up 2 inches, add the kale, cover, bring to a boil, and turn off the heat. Steam, still covered, for 10 minutes. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, make the dressing: in a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until it shimmers, and add the roasted garlic, lemon juice, pepper to taste, and salt, if using. (I generally use about 18 grinds from the peppermill—I don’t add salt because the Parmesan is so salty).
  4. When the kale is ready, squeeze out any excess liquid and transfer the steamed greens to a serving bowl. Heat the dressing just to heat through, and toss with the kale. Add the Parmesan (see Notes from the Test Kitchen), toss again, and serve.

Kitchen Tips

  • Red pepper flakes add a nice bit of heat to this dish.

Notes from the Test Kitchen:

  1. An easy way to remove the spines from green leafy vegetables is told fold the leaf in half down the spine (as if you were closing a book). Place the folded leaf on a work surface and, with a sharp knife, slice as close to the spine as you can and discard. Prepare the leaves as directed in the recipe.
  2. Taste the dish before serving. If you like it a little saltier, ½ teaspoon will do it. You can also add more black pepper and lemon juice if you wish, and as Elizabeth suggests, red pepper flakes.

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