The first real strains of spring are being heard in Philadelphia right now. It is…marvelous. The air is warmer, the ground feels pleasant and, most of all, everyone looks as if they know what’s happening. I saw frolicing dogs, frolicing children, and more than a few summer dresses. That’s right—life is being breathed back into the air. It does hurt to inhale the sharp, cold air. I was even terribly lucky, this weekend, and got to smell spring (no small feat in a big city).
So what have I been eating? Oh, winter greens, of course.
I must have eaten almost a pound of kale last week. I just really love it. The first night I ate it, I braised it into submission. I’m not sure what I like more about braised kale: the way it soaks in the flavors of the garlic and the chicken broth or the way it makes my kitchen smell. Probably the former—it’s just so delicious! I served it, topped with a fried egg, alongside a serving of one of my favorite Trader Joe’s products, the Harvest Grain Blend. This blend has Israeli couscous, orzo, red quinoa, and baby garbanzos. I love the contrasting textures, especially the softness of the couscous against the baby garbanzo beans. I usually cook it in chicken broth, not water, for the added taste.
The next night, I just sautéed the kale with oil and garlic, exactly as my father has done numerous times before. I ate so much of it. I would have finished off the entire pan, had I not turned to discover my kitten standing half in, half out of the leftover kale. (He’s getting a little out of hand, don’t you think?)
As I said, I really, really love kale. But I don’t think I’ll be terribly sad to see its season recede (along with all those beautiful parsnips, apples, and Brussels sprouts!) into spring produce. The tang is in the air. I can smell it.