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posted: 7/31/2012 3:05 PM

A new way with kale for summer

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  • Garlicky grilled kale served with a burger and fresh tomatoes makes a perfect summer meal.

      Garlicky grilled kale served with a burger and fresh tomatoes makes a perfect summer meal.
    Assocaited PRess

 
By J.M. Hirsch
Associated Press

When I created this recipe, I was aiming for something akin to a saute. What I got was so much better.

When you saute kale, it acts like spinach. That is, it wilts, releases a lot moisture and becomes very tender. Prepared this way, it's delicious in stir-fries, tossed with pasta or seasoned and used as a bed for roasted or grilled meats.

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But on a recent way-too-hot day, the idea of standing at the stove just didn't appeal. And since I already had the grill going, I figured I could get the same effect if I seasoned the kale, dumped it on a baking sheet and set it over the grill for a few minutes.

Except that the intense heat of the grill never gave the kale a chance to wilt. In just minutes, the greens went from fresh to toasted and lightly crisped. It also happened to be delicious and paired particularly well with the sausages I also was grilling that evening.

And you don't need to like the seasoning blend I created to use this technique. Flavor the kale however you see fit (some red pepper flakes would be a fine addition). But however you season the kale, watch it carefully. Every grill heats differently, and kale is so delicate it can go from perfect to perfectly burnt rather quickly.

One note about grilling with a baking sheet. The intense heat of the grill is likely to warp inexpensive baking sheets. If you don't have a heavy duty baking sheet, I suggest using a disposable foil one, which most grocers sell in a variety of sizes.

• Follow Associated Press Food Editor to great eats on Twitter @JM--Hirsch.

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