Luscious Kale Purée
This is a simple. elegant nutritious puree which is divine over pasta. A perfect vegan weeknight or side dish.
This is one of many brilliant recipes I found in April Bloomfield’s seminal cookbook, A Girl and Her Greens: Hearty Meals from the Garden. It is one of my favorite cookbooks. I adore the fact that this book is jam-packed with simple, every day recipes for vegetables. April Bloomfield’s recipes artfully highlight the inherent elegance and tastiness of veggies.
When I was younger, I went through several phases of vegetarianism. During the first phase, I felt guilty about killing animals for food. However, I quickly became tired of a bland diet of salads, soups, meatless quiches, and tomato sauce.
The problem wasn’t the vegetables. It was my style of cooking. The truth is, my vegetable repertoire was far too limited.
Later, living and working in India, I learnt that vegetarian foods could be delicious. In fact, I enjoyed such an abundance of exquisite vegetarian dishes that there was no need to eat meat.
However, when I started experimenting with vegetarian recipes in my own kitchen, I realized that cooking vegetables is an art form. It is challenging because meat packs a flavor punch all by itself. Whereas, with vegetables, a cook is obliged to use cooking methods and seasonings to highlight much more subtle, yet delectable, flavors.
I suspect what holds most of us back from vegetarianism (or including more vegetables in our diets) is ignorance. We are clueless as to how to correctly prepare and season vegetables.
Making vegetables palatable — and delicious — doesn’t require loads of exotic seasonings. It does, however, require a deft hand and a palate that understands and appreciates vegetables’ more subtle flavors.
A Girl and Her Greens
April Bloomfield has both. Her recipes are simple, accessible and elegant. This kale purée is a perfect example. It’s a four-ingredient recipe packed with nutrition and flavor.
Today, I tossed the puree with 500 g of cooked conchiglie. However, kale purée is so tasty on its own, that it would easily make a divine base (or condiment) for a grilled steak or lamb chop. It would be equally delicious tossed with roasted cauliflower or potatoes.
I like to think of this sauce as “kale pesto”. Thus, I use kale purée a lot like pesto — as a spread for sandwiches, as part of a tasty dipping sauce or vinaigrette. It has an infinite variety of applications. Please let me know how you enjoy it. Bon appétit!