Kale.  The overcooked, overlooked vegetable of my youth has been in the limelight for the last few years.  My mother was a fan of simmering it for a long, long time in stock produced from the “country ham” that she prepared often.  It gave the kale a nice ham-y flavor.  She served it up along side her buttery mashed potatoes for many a Sunday Supper.

Her kale came in a plastic bag from the supermarket.  I don’t know what variety it was…it was just kale.  Now, we have many varieties to chose from.  My favorite used to be lacinato, but recently our farmer’s market and Whole Foods have been presenting us with a new way to enjoy this feisty green: tender, sweet, BABY kale.  Have to say, I’m a big fan.

At the same time, I discovered an accessory for the grill that I’m loving this summer.   It’s called a stainless steel grill grid.    I’ve put these two together for what is our new go-to vegetable…grilled baby kale, sprinkled with Parmesan and a dash of red chili peppers. A drizzle of fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar is optional.

I’ve been working on grilling kale for awhile.  At first, I thought that my lacinato would be perfect because it was large enough to stand up to grilling.  I removed the long, tough center stem, drizzled on a bit of olive oil and popped it on the grill.  It was just OK.  Parts got a bit too much char, it was too oily and since it is a long leaf it did not make a good presentation.

I then found my new grilling accessory, used baby kale and tossed it with a lighter douse of olive oil.  It takes just minutes on the grill and you have a rich, smoky dish that has a bit of an Italian accent.  We love it and I think that your friends and family will as well for your next Sunday Supper.

Spicy Grilled Kale with Parmesan Recipe

Yield: 2 - 4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Spicy and savory kale topped with freshly grated Parmesan and red pepper flakes.

Ingredients:

1 - 5 oz. container of baby kale
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt (to taste) (optional)
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

Light your grill. When it is hot, place grill grid on the grill surface so that it can reach the temperature of the grill.

Place baby kale in a large bowl and toss with olive oil. It looks like a lot, but kale REALLY cooks down.

Place baby kale on grill grid as shown. Use tongs to move it around on the surface of grid...keep it moving and don't leave the grill. In a few minutes it will be ready.

Transfer to serving dish, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

We are trying to cut down on salt, so I personally don't add salt, I let the Parmesan lend a dash of salty flavor. Also, you can add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice before serving if you'd like.

Enjoy!