Sunday, October 21, 2012

Easy Bebere Kale! Vegan MOFO Post #8

This picture has nothing to do with the post. But isn't my kitty cute???

My dear friends Stacey and JJ are both adept at creating quick and easy recipes that are delicious and super healthy. Stacey's lunches inspire me every day and one can get oodles of lipsmacking recipes from her. (See JJ's wonderful lemon artichokes to get an idea...)

This recipe is one that has become a staple in our house. And it was really popular this summer, as I planted tons of kale, which we continue to harvest from the garden. You need:

olive oil
apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper

Berbere is an Ethiopian spice mixture. I've never actually bought it myself, as Stacey got a big stash from a friend from Ethiopia and gave me a couple of containers of it. But I'm sure you can buy it at an Ethiopian restaurant. There's also a recipe here on Epicurious. 

First buy one or two bunches of kale. The kale below is Curly Kale, freshly picked from our garden.

Rinse it really well, particularly if it's from the garden. I tend to check each leaf very carefully to make sure there are no visitors.

Then you simple grab the stalk with one hand, and with the other you just rip off all the leaves in one fell swoop. It's satisfying! You can cut the stems up if you like, as they are perfectly edible, but I'm a bit lazy and just compost them.

Rip the remaining pieces up into smaller bits. (But not too small.)

Cut up a few cloves of garlic. (I usually do 2-3, but do it according to your taste.) Saute the garlic in some olive oil on medium heat.

Add the festive kale. It will be take up a lot of volume initially, kind of like the tulle under those wild old-fashioned dresses, but keep turning it over and stirring it into the garlic and oil and it will cook down pretty quickly. I will usually add a bit of water -- a few tablespoons - to keep it from getting dry.

Here's the pretty berbere. Isn't that color gorgeous?

 I lightly add it to the kale. I've probably used about a quarter teaspoon or so here.

Keep stirring the mixture around. Here you can see it's cooking down, but there are are still sections that are dry and need to be incorporated. Keep going it until it's cooked down but still bright green.

Take it off the heat. Add a little pepper and salt to taste and about 1 or 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Stir it all up.

When you take your first forkful, you will doubtless feel a sense of wonder, as your taste buds begin to sing music you didn't know they knew. At this point, you will want to hold up your wine glass and make a toast to Stacey and JJ for bringing this new incredible dish into your permanent rotation. Life will never be the same. (You think I'm joking? We both crave this stuff and probably eat it every other night.)

Below is a particularly tasty dinner of the Berbere Kale, my invented squash/sweet potato/apple/walnut thing, and Soy Chorizo Black Bean Stew over rice. (The latter is from The Vegan Slow Cooker, a book that has been making walking into the front door each night very rewarding.)

What's your favorite way of cooking up greens fast?


  1. WOW! I'm so flattered to be featured on such a gourmet blog ;) I have never added the vinegar, but that sounds super yummy! WARNING: Berbere is completely and totally addictive. I actually cooked with it so much that after a month my husband needed a berbere-break. I need no such thing ;)
    Thanks, Katrina!

    1. The inventor of berbere kale speaks! All bow down... :) I'll have to do a post soon of your berbere popcorn, Stacey.