While I often serve kale raw, I also like to enjoy it warm from time to time. I don’t cook it to death, just long enough for it to slightly wilt and soak up the flavorings in the pan. In this case, lemon and garlic do the trick to infuse this hearty green with loads of flavor.
Whenever I have eggplant on hand, as I do this week, I try to get to it right away. I either grill it over the weekend while the barbecue is already going for other things or I take some time on Sunday night to roast up a big batch to have on hand for meals throughout the week. Having pre-roasted or grilled eggplant in the fridge makes this a pretty no fuss midweek meal. The kale and bean mixture takes 15 or 20 minutes (including chopping time) to prep. This dish is lovely all on its own or paired with roasted shrimp scattered over top.
2 medium Japanese eggplants, stem end trimmed, cut in half lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 bunch lacinato kale, tough inner stems removed, leaves shredded
Juice of one lemon
3/4 cup white beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh lemon basil
Cracked black pepper to taste
- To roast the eggplant, using the tip of a small, sharp knife, cut a cross hatch pattern into the flesh side of the eggplant. Sprinkle each eggplant half with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. This will reduce the natural bitterness of the eggplant as well as the amount of oil the eggplant soaks up. Let the eggplant sit for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Using a paper towel, wipe off the excess salt and any moisture that has leached out of the eggplant. Place the eggplant halves on a rimmed baking tray and drizzle each half with 1 teaspoon of oil. Roast for 30 minutes, until the eggplant is creamy and golden.
- Meanwhile, make the kale and white bean topping. In a wide, shallow pan, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the kale and stir to coat with the garlic and oil. Quickly add the lemon juice and 1/4 cup water, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for about 3 minutes, until the kale is softened. Uncover and stir through the beans and lemon basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve the eggplant topped with the kale and bean mixture.
Nutritional analysis based on 2 serving:
Calories 389, Fat 22g, Sodium 625mg, Carbohydrate 45g, Fiber 17g, Sugar 9g, Protein 12g