Featured Ingredient Kale
According to Mitch from Modern Family, “kale should remain more of a garnish.” Uh, no way!
If there was ever a food worthy of its superfood moniker, it would be jaunty kale. In fact, it’s so packed with a wealth of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it just might be the nutritional heavyweight of the produce department. Sorry, Mr. Broccoli!
Among its nutritional highlights includes a payload of vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin K, that latter of which his necessary for strong bones. Noshing on plenty of kale can also help keep your peepers in top shape as its abundant in lutein, an antioxidant deposited in the retina where it protects against UV damage.
These pretty green kale cups make for a wonderful side dish. Perfectly earthy and rich tasting. Miso, a fermented soybean product available at most natural food stores, adds salty flavor to the verdant cups. I believe it’s one of the most underutilized flavor boosters in the West in that it can vivify salad dressings, sauces, soups and stir-fry’s. If not using miso, simply add salt to taste when mixing together the ingredients. You can garnish with additional Parmesan if you don’t have sesame seeds handy.
1 bunch kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped (8 to 10 cups)
1/2 cup reduced fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon miso, preferably white or yellow (optional)
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes (optional)
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a food processor, pulse kale until finely chopped. You’ll probably need to do this in two batches. Add kale to a large bowl along with ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, shallot, garlic, miso, thyme, lemon zest, nutmeg and chili flakes. Mix well until all the ricotta has blended in with the kale. Divide among 10 medium-sized muffin cups and bake 20 minutes. Let cool several minutes before unmolding.
Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and toast sesame seeds until golden, about 3 minutes. Serve kale cups with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds on top.
- Replace ricotta cheese with cottage cheese
- Use spinach or Swiss chard instead of kale
- Try using hemp seeds as a garnish