Lowly kale has gotten a bad rep as a “healthy but you hate it” food known for its place in post-workout protein shakes, says Paolo Vasapolli, executive chef for UWindsor Food Services. But kale is a versatile variety of cabbage that has been used by most cultures around the world and cultivated for food since about 2,000 BC.
The leafy green is versatile, hardy, easy to grow, and available in dozens of varieties, he says, some of which are strictly ornamental and can grow to a spectacular seven feet tall.
His recipe for roasting kale cooks it to a lively crisp providing a colourful showcase for tender potatoes and grilled chicken. So enjoy this easy and colourful summer meal on the patio or deck and give poor old kale a break.
Grilled Chicken with Roasted Kale
Yield: Four servings
- 1/2 pound small red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 large bunch kale, stems removed, leaves torn (about 10 cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 4 cups mixed salad greens
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss the potatoes with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet; spread in a single layer and roast 5 minutes.
- Toss kale in a large bowl with the garlic, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Add to the baking sheet with the potatoes and toss. Roast until the kale is crisp and the potatoes are tender, stirring once, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat a grill or grill pan to medium and brush with olive oil. Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally to make four cutlets. Coat evenly with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken until well marked and cooked through, two to four minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
- Toss the kale, potatoes, the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, the salad greens, tomatoes, parmesan, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Divide the chicken among plates and top with kale and potato mixture.