We all know that we need to eat our greens. But sometimes gooey and cheesy is much more appealing than dark and leafy (which, incidentally, makes it sound like you're about to eat a forest.) Because of that, I like to dress up my greens. Usually I use a cute little bow-tie or top hat, but in this case I went with garlic and red pepper flakes.
Alex's mom brought us a bag full of kale from her organic garden and I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it. Kale isn't something I used to try, but once we made this recipe, I was hooked. In its raw form, kale is pretty rough-looking and intimidating, but it's easily tamed if you know how to finesse it a little bit. I love this recipe because I love garlic. Raw, roasted, grilled, simmered, smeared, sauteed, baked, sliced, fried, mashed...you do it to garlic and I'll eat it. There's something addictive about the pungent and spicy taste that can change to sweet and mellow in the blink of an eye. There is a restaurant in SanFran that I hope to get to someday, called The Stinking Rose. That's my kind of place!
When you're cooking greens, always remember that they will release a lot of water and cook down to less than 1/3 of the original size. My pan started off looking like this:
And after about 5 minutes, it had cooked right down to this: