Kale with Golden Raisins and Onions 

Kale with Golden Raisins and Onions\u00a0

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[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

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.

  • Yield:makes 2 servings
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:20 minutes


  • 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


  1. 1.

    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.

  2. 2.

    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. 

  3. 3.

    Pour the blood orange dressing into the pan with the onion, shake in the golden raisins, and spoon over the leaves.