Kale & Roasted Raisin Jumble

November 17, 2011 § 1 Comment

Toasted fennel seeds, chewy roasted raisins, slightly charred red onion & of course the indispensable winter green, kale.


Now don’t go turning up your nose saying I’ve tried kale, I hate it & everything about it, or the infamous I’d cook that but my husband & kids will kick me out, because there is a secret to eating kale – actually, it’s a secret to harvesting kale. Kale harvested after a frost is much sweeter & more palatable than summertime kale. All it takes is a little chill & kale is transformed almost as much as a scrawny young girl after puberty – I’m not kidding. It’s probably best if I leave out the fact that it’s high in calcium, beta-carotene, lutein, vitamin C, vitamin K, sulforaphane, a molecule in all cruciferous & brassicas vegetables that is known for it’s anti-cancer properties & a plethora of various other carotinoids, at the risk that you’ll think I’m just trying to convince you to eat it. I’m not though, I promise. Skip the kale & their will be more for me.

Fennel seeds change from a muted green to a brilliant golden after being heated. Their licorice-like aroma will enhance salads, breads & cookies.

This recipe may seem like it has some tediously skip-able steps, like toasting the fennel or baking the raisins, but I assure you that they are there for a reason. Toasting the fennel seeds allows for a multi-sense experience. As the volatile oils are released, we are able to not only enjoy the flavor of the seeds, but also enjoy the aroma. The raisins are heated to further concentrate the sugar simple sugars, glucose & fructose, as heating is just a way of drawing out more water.

Maybe I'm bias because I'm sitting here eating this, but this picture does no justice to the flavor combinations in this dish.

Kale & Roasted Raisin Jumble

  • 8 large leaves of kale, stemmed & chopped
  • 2 red onions, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rings
  • 1 cup of any grain, or pasta*
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1/3 cup of raisins, roasted
  • 4 Tbsp fennel seed, toasted
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (garlic salt)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper & salt to taste

*Here I used sprouted bulgur wheat, but quinoa, amaranth, barley, linguini, orecchiette, etc will do. Sprouted bulgur is cooked in the microwave with 1 cup of bulgur to 2 cups of water, covered well, for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to roast (or bake) at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add onions to a skillet over medium heat & saute for about 10 minutes, until soft.  Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil, cover the onions for 2-3 minutes & allow them to brown without burning. Meanwhile, prepare what ever grain or pasta you’ve chosen to use. In a small baking dish mix the raisins & black pepper. Roast for 7 minutes, until the raisins swell slightly, then set them aside to cool.

Add chopped kale and 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the slightly charred onions and toss in the saute pan until the kale has wilted, but is still a vibrant green. Add the coriander & garlic powder. Continue to saute over low heat. Add the bulgur (or other grain) & walnuts, then salt to taste. Last, add the raisins & toss one more time.

Serve hot or refrigerate immediately. This will last refrigerated for about 5 days.

Enjoy.

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§ One Response to Kale & Roasted Raisin Jumble

  • paul says:

    Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m an onion denier, have been as long as I can remember. My loss, I know. Everything else about this looks fantastic though, as usual! And I think that Orecchiette, etc. is just something I’d want to say often. Maybe even name a fine dining establishment with those very words. Who knows.

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