Before I came to the US, I had never seen Kale. Of course, once I came here, I heard about how nutritionists and doctors recommend Kale because it is packed with vitamins and other goodies. So I tried experimenting with it a few times. First, I stir fried with some garlic and chili flakes and that came out okay but not something I would ever crave (and my first rule for all foods is that they have to taste great!). Then next time I added it to some couscous salad and that turned out really well. Of course, in this dish the taste of Kale was masked by the taste of other ingredients. Last week I tried Kale chips and those were a complete disaster! Today I went back to the Farmer’s market and bought another bunch of Russian Kale and some artisanal Lamb Merguez sausage. So tonight’s dinner was a spicy stew of Lamb Merguez Sausage and Kale and if I may say so myself – this was the best use of Kale ever.
I got the initial idea from another blogger who had sent me her recipe for an Italian Sausage and Kale soup (thanks Leslie of Dishing With Leslie!) I adapted the recipe a bit – so that I could use some of the ingredients that I had on hand and some others that I tend to favor (fresh mint and fennel seeds) to just perk up the dish.
1. 10 Lamb Merguez Sausages (mine were mint and fennel flavored)
2. One medium onion
3. One bunch of Russian Kale leaves (about 10 large leaves of any Kale would be good)
4. 10-12 baby peeled carrots (any carrots would do)
5. One 32 oz Chicken Broth
6. 3 cloves of garlic
7. ¼ cup heavy cream
8. 16 oz can of white beans
9. 16 oz can of garbanzo beans
10. ½ teaspoon of chili flakes
11. 1 teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika
12. ½ tablespoon of fennel seeds
13. 7-8 fresh mint leaves
14. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
15. 1 teaspoon of salt
16. 1 teaspoon of sugar
1. Peel and dice the onion and set them aside.
5. In a large heavy bottom pan, pour a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and heat it up on medium heat.
6. When the oil is hot, add the diced onions to the pot and stir. Let the onions cook for 3-4 minutes.
8. Add the chopped sausage pieces to the pot and let them cook for about 6-7 minutes (until the pieces of sausage look cooked). Stir them frequently to let the veggies and sausage pieces cook evenly on each side.
9. Open the cans of beans and wash the beans out under cold water and add them to the pot.
14. Serve the stew piping hot with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil drizzles on top and a little bit of crumbled feta on top. A piece of crusty bread on the side makes it a wonderful complete meal.