Monday, January 09, 2012

Miso-Creamed Kale

Everywhere you look these days, people are talking about New Year's cleanses and diets, about atoning for holiday indulgences with dark green leafy vegetables. And so, in a nod to the season, I present to you some kale. It's wholly delicious, softened into a savory-salty bath of cream, butter and booze. What? Was that not the point?

So yeah, this might not make any low-cal diet lists. But oh is it delicious. It packs an umami wallop, with miso, shallots, booze, and garlic, and some soy-bathed mushrooms. And then there's the butter and cream, which bring everything together into a luxurious whole. The green fustiness of kale stands up to these flavors, but is enriched and softened. It's like kale's turn as a steakhouse side dish (well, an Asian-inspired steakhouse).

Sure, the new year can be about resolutions and deprivation, about making up for what you did wrong in the past. But it can also be about celebration, raising a glass to all of the good things we have around us. Like kale. And cream.

Miso-Creamed Kale

adapted from Portland's Wafu, via Mix Magazine
serves 2 (they claim 4, but who are we kidding)

3 Tbsp butter
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed (or left on, if you don't mind), and roughly chopped
1/4 cups shimeji mushrooms with stems, or shiitake mushrooms
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup dry vermouth (I subbed sherry)
1/2 cup heavy cream (or, if you'd prefer, half and half)
1/4 cup white miso (this is a mellow miso, so if you have a dark miso, use less)
freshly-ground black pepper

Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan or pot over a medium heat, then add the shallot and garlic. Cook until soft but not colored, ~3-4 minutes. Add the kale, and cook a few more minutes until wilted.

Meanwhile, set a skillet over a medium-high heat, and melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened and colored, ~5-7 minutes (I favor leaving them in one place until they brown, then turning, but feel free to use a better method). When they're almost done, sprinkle on the soy sauce, stir to combine, let cook another minute and then turn off the heat.

When the kale has softened, turn up the heat to medium-high, and add the vermouth. Cook until it evaporates (~1-2 minutes). Add the cream and miso, stirring until the miso has broken up and everything is well mixed. Cook for a minute or two, until the mixture reduces slightly and clings to the kale. Season to taste with pepper, then transfer to a serving dish and top with the mushrooms. Serve.


  1. mmmm sounds great! I'm always looking for new Kale recipes!

  2. Just had this at Wafu and am excited to try it at home! Thanks.