Thursday, October 21, 2010

Last Night's Dinner: Smashed Potatoes with Kale

When I looked at these small red potatoes from Quail Hill, they inspired me to try something I hadn't yet tried: Steaming them so they were creamy and soft inside, and then transferring them to a skillet and smashing them, so their skins would crisp up in a little bit of olive oil. I had some beautiful baby kale from the farm, too, so I decided to saute it while the potatoes steamed, and then toss the two vegetables together when the potatoes were nice and brown. It's hard to say whether this dish was such a success because of the brilliance of the cooking method or the quality of the vegetables. I like to think it was a little bit of both. Here is the recipe:

Smashed Potatoes with Kale
Serves 4

Be sure to use a large skillet (nonstick is best) that will give the potatoes enough room to cook in one layer after they've been smashed. To round out the meal, I grilled some hot and sweet Italian sausages from the IGA.

2 pounds small red potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small bunch kale (about 8 ounces), large stems stripped and discarded, leaves chopped
Ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1. Steam the potatoes in a large steamer rack set over boiling water, covered, until very tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
2. While the potatoes are steaming, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the kale and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the kale is wilted, another 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape the kale into a bowl and set aside.
3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat (no need to was out the pan). Add the potatoes (they should fit comfortably in one layer, with room to expand). Smash each potato with a masher, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until crisp on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and cook until the second side is crisp, another 2 minutes. Stir in the kale and zest, stir to combine and warm through, and serve.

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