Brunching Out: A Great Green for Moms

(originally published on lime.com)

Brunching with Mom this weekend?

Adding kale to the menu is an unusual, easy, and delicious way to show her you care. It comes in several tasty varieties and has a wide range of beneficial nutrients that are associated with decreased risk of cancer, cataracts, heart disease, arthritis, and emphysema, including anti-oxidants, calcium, and fiber. Not only is it truly a health super-food, but Sautéed Lemon Kale is a great reason to blow off the Eggs Benedict when served with poached eggs and whole-grain toast. It can be tempting to toss aside good nutrition on special occasions, but this is one exceptionally healthy treat that I have come to crave.

Kale comes in several varieties, and any of them will work well in this preparation, although I particularly like the texture of the curly variety. Look for firm, crisp leaves with no signs of wilting or yellowing.

Poached Eggs with Sautéed Lemon Kale and Whole Grain Toast

1 large bunch kale, washed and dried

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic

1 lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

4 eggs

1 tbsp white vinegar

4 slices of whole grain bread

Slice the kale horizontally across the bunch into ribbons about ½ inch wide. Discard the tough stems. Cut the garlic into slivers.

Heat olive oil in a large lidded sauté pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers but doesn’t smoke. Add kale. You may need to add it in batches, as the kale will reduce in size as it cooks, and while it may initially look as though there is too much for the pan, if you wait 10-15 seconds you should be able to squeeze it all in. Cover and cook until the kale is sufficiently reduced in size that you can stir it. Remove the lid and sauté as the kale continues to cook down. It’s fine, and in fact, quite tasty, if some of the leaves brown and crisp in places. When you have enough room in the pan, move the kale to the side enough that you can add the garlic in direct contact with the pan. Sauté for several seconds, then stir to combine garlic and kale. Cook to desired done-ness, at least until the stem portions of the leaves become tender and lose their raw taste. Remove from the heat and add the juice of the lemon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toast bread and keep warm.

While you are cooking the kale, bring a medium saucepan containing a depth of about three inches of water to a boil, then reduce the heat to barely a simmer. Add the vinegar to the water. When the kale is done, poach the eggs as follows: gently crack each egg into a saucer or small cup. Lower into the simmering water and slide in the eggs. Immediately turn off the heat and cover. Cook for just under 3 minutes.

On each one of 4 plates, top one slice of toast with one quarter of the Sautéed Lemon Kale and one poached egg. Serve immediately, and pass sea salt and the pepper mill.

Serves 4.

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