I had several ideas floating around in my head for dinner, but didn’t really feel like cooking anything. I decided to cook anyway and chose this recipe because it seemed pretty easy (and it was, would have been easier with green beans and a wider pan though). I’m so glad I cooked tonight and am loving the The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper, even if it is short on vegetarian options (seven are listed as mains but a few more lurk in the section on eggs as well as sides and of course some of the pastas can be modified). Speaking of The Splendid Table, you should consider listening to the weekly radio program (or subscribe to the podcast) it is often very interesting and inspiring.
The bummer of the night is that I didn’t realize that I had french (red) fingerling potatoes until it was too late to do something more interesting than roast them. But if that is a bummer, I’m doing really good. It was interesting to compare taste and texture of the fingerlings compared with the more common waxy/creamer potatoes. I think the creamers were slightly better roasted but the fingerlings were still great.
Last night while reading in bed (yes, a cookbook) I thought the Moroccan Green Bean Tagine sounded very interesting. And the book encourages experimentation with veggies and spices (sadly I have to wait a while before I try it as written). The idea of braised kale has also been dancing in my head (ever since reading it on a menu last night) and I though that kale might be a good stand-in for green beans and the stewing sounded similar to braising plus it would get the two seemingly huge bunches of kale out of my fridge (or at least cooked down a good bit). I had about 20 ounces of kale, and the hardest part of this dish was getting it to fit in the pan. I ended up adding kale in 4 batches, luckily the longer cooking time and strong spices work in my favor instead of leaving me with some overcooked and some undercooked kale.
Moroccan Kale Tagine modified from The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 1/2 lbs kale (2 bunches) 2-2 1/2 lbs green beans
- 2 medium onions, coarsly chopped
- 1/4 t salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 t pepper (or to taste)
- 5 large garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 t ground allspice
- 1/4 t pure chile powder (I used ancho chile)
- 2 t Crossover Spice Blend*
- 2 t dried basil
- 2 T sweet paprika
- 1/3 c red wine vinegar
- 1/3 c dry white wine (or red, we had white open so used that)
- 28 oz can of whole tomatoes (and the juices in the can)
- water, if needed
You really want to have everything through the spices prepped before you start cooking so chop the onion, prep the kale (wash, remove from stem and tear into coarse pieces, lightly dry), stir all the spices together (allspice through paprika). Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a nice big pot (with a lid) and add the onion, salt and pepper and kale and saute for about 10 minutes until the onion is golden and even the kale is developing a little bit of brown in a few spots (I started with the onion and once that just began to develop color added the kale in batches, covering between to help remove the bulk). While this is cooking go ahead and mix the vinegar and wine together as well as open the can of tomatoes.
Add the spices and the garlic to the veggies and stir until nice and fragrant, about one minute. Dump the vinegar-wine mixture in at once and use a rubber spatula (or wooden spoon) to help de-glaze the pan. When this has mostly evaporated add the tomatoes and break them up with the spoon. The veggie should not quite be covered in liquid, add a little more water if you think it is needed. Cover and let it simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Serve.
I served this along side potatoes, but I think couscous would have really shined here (couscous or pearled barley is recommended).
*Crossover Spice Blend is also given in the book, I cut the recipe down by 75% and still had plenty leftover (but that is okay the book uses it in other recipes). Mix together 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon ground cumin and 2 tablespoons ground coriander.
Oh, I almost forgot. Roasted Potatoes. 450F oven, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted for about 25 minutes, stirring once. I also made sure that a cut side was down on each piece before I put the pan in the oven.