If you believe all that you read in food and nutrition magazines, then you know that kale will save your life. It will cure all your ills, make you a better person, and help you win the lottery. It will even pay your unpaid parking tickets.
The fact is kale has become trendy among those who care about what they put into their bodies. And that is not a bad thing. What kale really can do is lower your cholesterol, fight cancer, reduce inflammation, and thereby boost your immune system. You might think it’s an acquired taste, but I promise you when you find delicious ways to make it, you’ll like it the first time. Make sure you wash the leaves thoroughly, then either tear or cut away the leaves from the thick stems.
A great way to warm up to kale is with a lemony, corn-bejeweled, spicy and tangy gnocchi dish. It’s hard to go wrong with this combination of flavors.
You’ll be seeing a lot of corn over the next couple of months, people. In case you hadn’t already picked up on that. I get it from my CSA throughout the entire summer and often into the fall. It’s a delicious and beautiful thing. Sweet and crunchy, here we’re going to let it brown a little bit in some garlicky oil before we add the kale and other ingredients to the party. It’s all about making the most of what we’ve got.
I happen to love gnocchi any which way, but it’s especially delicious if you cook it the “traditional” way (in boiling salted water) and then add it to the saute pan with the rest of your ingredients. That way you’ll get a little browning action on the outside of the gnocchi, and it will soak up all kinds of delicious flavors. If you are feeling ambitious, you can make your own gnocchi. If you’re buying it, I highly recommend Gia Russa’s whole wheat gnocchi with sweet potato.
Gnocchi with Kale and Sweet Corn (serves 3)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups corn kernels (about 2 cobs worth)
- 4 cups loosely packed coarsely chopped kale
- generous pinch of red pepper flakes
- 16 oz. whole wheat gnocchi
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp dry white wine
- grated parmesan for serving (optional)
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt it.
2. While the pot is coming to a boil, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for no more than a minute. Add the corn kernels and cook, stirring, for about three minutes, or until the corn kernels are just starting to pick up some color. Add the kale, a pinch of salt, and the red pepper flakes. Stir everything together. Reduce heat to low and let cook for about 5 minutes.
3. When the kale has been cooking for about a minute, drop the gnocchi into the boiling water from step 1 above. Cook until the gnocchi rise to the top of the water, about 3 minutes. Drain briefly.
4. As soon as you have drained the gnocchi, add it to the skillet with the vegetables. It’s good for it to still be slightly wet. Stir everything together and cook for about 2 minutes, just to let the gnocchi soak up the other flavors and get slightly browned on the outside.
5. Stir in the cilantro, lemon juice, and white wine to deglaze the pan slightly. Cook for about a minute, then serve topped with parmesan if desired.