Bill Hogan / Chicago Tribune

Kale with grilled sausages and white beans

Kale is quickly becoming a green for all seasons

Published: Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 7D
Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 - 5:23 pm

Kale, with its sturdy leaves, feels like a winter green (and it does fit well, of course, in cold weather cooking), yet the farmers markets and grocery stores are full of it now.

Whether White Russian, red, lacinato or another variety, kale is in its accendancy, with baby kale leaves especially popular. The tender baby leaves go beautifully in fresh salads, no cooking needed. It seems that every new cookbook or food blog has a kale salad these days. (Dressing mature kale ahead of serving allows the leaves to soften enough to eat raw.)

Our favorite? A twist on a Caesar, which friends call Kale, Caesar! – saluting Roman style, in partial jest to its mighty deliciousness.

The kale recipe here works in any season. Baby or mature leaves can be used, just adjust the cooking time. You'll want the leaves just cooked through. The rich sausage helps coat the leaves; the sun-dried tomatoes add a bit of tartness.

Kale with grilled sausages and white beans

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time:25 minutes

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

4 links Italian pork or turkey sausage, sweet or hot

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 white onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 bunches baby kale, stemmed, or 2 large bunches regular kale, stemmed, sliced in 1/2-inch ribbons

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup water

One 14-ounce can white beans, drained, rinsed

1/2 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare grill for medium high heat; grill sausages, turning, until done, 5-8 minutes. (Or brown sausages in a skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through.) Slice sausages into 1/2-inch rounds.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften. Add kale, wine and 1/2 cup or so water, if needed. (You may need to add the kale in batches, allowing the first batch to cook down a bit to make room for the rest.)

Stir to coat kale; season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until kale wilts, 6 minutes.

Stir in beans and sun-dried tomatoes; cook until heated through, 5 minutes. Serve topped with the sausages.

Per serving: 570 calories, 39 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 62 mg cholesterol, 35 g carbohydrates, 23 g protein, 1,308 mg sodium, 10 g fiber

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Read more articles by Joe Gray



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