Give Greens a Chance! Sauteed Kale with Onion, Garlic and Chili.

by Sarah on October 29, 2009

How do you feel about kale?  I’ll be honest, I didn’t always think much of kale, except for when I was a teenager and worked at a Round Table Pizza, we used kale in the salad bar to hide the ice.  I don’t even think I knew it was edible.  Add insult to injury?  I was a fledgling vegetarian at the time.   What a dork.

All I know is, one evening I grabbed a bunch of it at the old Lucky store up on F Street.  I cooked it in the exact manner below, and it was an insta-hit with me and the little darlings.  Yes, my kids liked kale.  My kids like everything, believe it or not.

Besides tasting good, kale is super-healthy.  Kale has antioxidant properties and is very high in beta carotene, vitamins C and K, lutein, zeaxanthin, and calcium.  Kale likes cooler climates, which makes it perfect to grow here in Sacramento in the winter.  I planted some last weekend so hopefully I’ll have lots of kale to cook soon enough.

Kale makes a great version of Colcannon–an Irish dish that mixes cooked kale with mashed potatoes.  Yum!
This is usually how I cook it though, it’s just so darn easy and so darn satisfying in the fall and winter months.   If you are a kale virgin, I hope you’ll try this sometime soon.

Slice half a large onion and a couple cloves of garlic.  Heat a couple Tbsp olive oil and saute the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes.

If you buy a bunch of kale, chop it into rough bite-sized pieces, removing the largest ribs.
You can also buy those giant bags of kale, already cleaned and chopped.  That’s what I’ve got here.
Just dump the whole thing into the pan.
Using tongs, toss the kale with the hot onion and garlic.  Add salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
Toss it again and continue to cook.  Don’t add any liquid.
Look, that huge bag cooks down to practically nothing.  Total cook time:  10 minutes.

This is a perfect fall or winter side dish and can be made in literally minutes any day of the week.  Give greens a chance!

Give Greens a Chance! Sauteed Kale with Onion, Garlic and Chili.


  • 1 bunch kale, chopped, with largest ribs removed
  • --OR 1 large bag of cleaned and chopped kale
  • 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Red pepper flakes to taste, I used about 1 Tbsp.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil


  • Heat oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for three minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook, stirring so as not to burn the garlic. When onion and garlic are soft, add the kale. It will likely mound over the edge of the pan, but it will shrink.
  • Using tongs, toss the kale and hot onion and garlic mixture, so that the heat begins to shrink the greens. Continue to cook, tossing the greens every minute or so.
  • Add the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Cook until the ribs are tender.

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