This is my friend kale.  Have you met?  If not, may I propose an introduction?

Pleased to meet you

Kale and I were introduced at my friend Emily’s pre-Thanksgiving party.  Emily and her fiancé host this party every year and, it is just what it sounds like.  Friends gather about a week before the actual holiday and each bring a Thanksgiving dish to share.  Since many of us are with family for the holidays, it is a nice way to make time to give thanks for the friendships in our lives.  Last year was the first year I have been able to attend the party and the dish that I could not stop eating was one that Emily made.  The dish was flavorful, tender and healthy sautéed kale.  Even my husband couldn’t get enough of the green stuff (that’s how good it was).  I told her that I had to have the recipe and she insisted that it was very simple to make and hardly a recipe at all.  She taught me how to prepare it and now sautéed kale with a little garlic, red chili flakes and sea salt is one of our favorite go-to side dishes at my home.  I am very thankful for Emily’s friendship and for all of her wonderful ideas and recipes.

Sauteed Kale

by Mercedes Porter

Keywords: saute side vegan vegetarian


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 bunch kale (I like the Lacinato variety)
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes


Remove ribs from kale leaves and cut or tear kale into medium-sized pieces

Heat olive oil in medium/large sautée pan over medium heat and add garlic

Sautée garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute

Add kale and sprinkle with salt and chili flakes

Cook about 6 minutes or until kale is tender and bright green

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Remove ribs from kale

Use a large pan, but the kale will shrink significantly as it cooks

See how much volume it looses at it cooks??

Another one of my last minute sides this time of year is cherry tomatoes with balsamic vinegar reduction.  Also very simple to make with few ingredients needed, yet a very flavorful accompaniment.

Blistered Tomatoes with Balsamic Reduction

by Mercedes Porter

Keywords: saute side vegetarian vegetables


  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp basil, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar


Heat olive oil in small sautée pan over medium heat

Add tomatoes, garlic, basil and salt and cook about 2 minutes

Add balsamic vinegar, allow vinegar to come to boil then reduce and simmer about 6 minutes until tomatoes are blistered (skin is split open) and vinegar has reduced and thickened

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Bright flavorful sides to compliment any main dish

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2 Comments ( Reply )

  1. emily (a nutritionist eats)
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 8:43 am

    I LOVE my kale!! I’m having some tonight actually, it has been way too long.
    Those blistered tomatoes sound great too, I think I would prefer grape tomatoes slightly cooked – raw just isn’t my favorite.


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