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This recipe for Kale with Golden Raisins and Onions from Nigel Slater's Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch has Sicily written all over it. Combining raisins and capers into all sorts of savory dishes is commonplace on the island. It's a wonderful sweet-salty combo that make it's way up from North Africa into Southern Italian cooking.
Slater incorporates a few other sweet-sour elements into this kale dish. He caramelizes onions and mixes them with orange juice, white wine vinegar, capers, and raisins to make a dressing for quick steamed kale. It works beautifully as a hot side, full of big, unexpected flavors, but you could also tweak this into a cold kale salad, dressing the leaves with orange juice, olive oil, and vinegar and tossing them with raisins, capers, and fried onions or shallots.
Reprinted with permission from Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater. Copyright © 2009, 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.
- 2 large handfuls kale or cavolo nero
- A medium onion
- Olive oil
- 3 tablespoons golden raisins
- For the dressing:
- A blood orange
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons capers
Wash and trim the leaves. Peel the onion and slice it thinly into rings. Pour a thin layer of oil, say a couple of tablespoons, into a shallow pan and let the onion cook for fifteen minutes or so, until soft and sweet. It will need the occasional stir to stop it browning beyond a pale honey color.
While the onion cooks, squeeze the orange juice into a small bowl, add the wine vinegar, then beat in up to five tablespoons of olive oil, to give a sweet-sharp dressing. Stir in the capers and a grinding of black pepper. Steam the greens briefly.
Pour the blood orange dressing into the pan with the onion, shake in the golden raisins, and spoon over the leaves.