Kale with Tahini Sauce, Pine Nuts and Pomegranate

This delicious dish turned out fabulously well. It came about whilst preparing a Middle Eastern spread for dinner tonight. I’d found some Kale at the market (not something we usually see in ready supply in Australia), so devised something rather tasty to accompany my other dinner dishes, which made good use of it. Kale is much like silverbeet or spinach – dark green leaves with a slight bitterness. Unlike silverbeet or spinach the leaves hold their shape well during cooking and the green colour isn’t lost either. A perfect accompaniment to the earthy bitterness of the leaves was a rich, nutty tahini sauce topped with more toasty nuttiness from roasted pine nuts and a final burst of sweet sharpness from some fresh pomegranate. All in all – a splendid little side dish that almost stole the show.

INGREDIENTS: Serves 3-4 as a small side dish.

For the sauce:
2 heaped tablespoons Greek style natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon tahini paste
1 small garlic clove (crushed into a smooth paste)
1/2 small lemon (juice of)
Pinch of white pepper

For the Kale:
2 large leaves of fresh kale (stems trimmed and discarded)
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small red onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt & Pepper

Other:
2 tablespoons pine nuts (dry roasted in a pan)
2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate seeds

DIRECTIONS:
To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients well and add about 2 tablespoons of water to loosen slightly. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

To make the kale. Heat about 300ml water in a large pan until boiling. Tear the kale into bite sized pieces and add to the pan with the bicarbonate of soda. Cover a cook for 2-3 minutes until just soft.  Remove from the pan and drain in a colander – set aside.

Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil over a moderate heat until hot. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently for 3 minutes. Pour in the wine and let this bubble for a minute or so until reduced by half. Shake the excess water from the kale then add to the pan and sauté for 1-2 minutes until hot. Season well with salt and pepper then remove from the heat.

SERVING:
Arrange the kale in a serving bowl then spoon over the tahini sauce. Sprinkle over the pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. Then, if you like, sprinkle over a little paprika. Serve with meat or fish.

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