Saturday, April 2, 2011

Kale with Garlic, Sage and Thyme Butter

A serendipitous dish, put together with ingredients I had on hand.  The thyme and sage in my herb garden looked particularly fetching, even after our winter freezes, so I decided to stride confidently in the direction of the kale dish I was beginning to envision.

Sage and butter have long been happy partners, and I discovered that kale loves sage, too.  This is a company-worthy kale dish, with a little heat from the red pepper, a satiny smoothness from the butter, and a rich, savory taste from the herbs and garlic. 

1 bunch lacinato kale
1 large onion, peeled, halved and sliced
5 tablespoons butter or ghee

6 cloves garlic
Leaves from 1 handful of fresh thyme sprigs
A handful of fresh sage leaves
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 cup chicken broth or white wine
Salt if needed

6 small fresh tomatoes, quartered

Wash kale, remove thick stems (I do this by ripping the kale away from the stem) and slice the kale into thin strips.
Peel garlic cloves and place them in a small food processor with the thyme and sage leaves.  Process to a fine chopped state.  Alternatively, chop the garlic and herbs finely with a knife.

In large-ish skillet, heat butter or ghee over medium heat.  Add onions and saute for a few minutes.  Add garlic and herb mixture and saute a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Finally, stir in the kale and chicken broth, bring to a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Taste sauce for salt; I added 1/4 teaspoon.  Just before serving, stir in the tomatoes and heat just until the tomatoes are warmed through and savory looking.  Serve hot.

Makes 4 hearty servings


  1. Kale and sage - sounds like a great combination. I've never thought to put them together. And with healthy amounts of garlic and butter...even better!

  2. Thanks--I honestly didn't know kale could taste this good. Butter seems to be wonderfully complimentary to kale. Such a thing always makes me wonder if there's some symbiotic nutrient-absorption thing going on!

  3. Made this tonight, using fresh sage and rosemary, and I added two links of sausage. Otherwise I followed your recipe. It's absolutely delicious! It feels quite restorative too. Thanks so much!

    1. Great! "Restorative" is a quality I look for in food and try to create with my recipes. Recently I discovered that sautéing kale with fresh sliced plums or pluots is very, very good. The sweetness and tang of the fruit gentles the bitterness of the kale.