Creamed Kale with Parmesan

My father and grandfather, both no longer here, loved nothing better than a serious steak dinner at their favorite steakhouse, Peter Luger’s, in New York City. If there was something to celebrate, an out-of-town guest to impress, or the desire to indulge an extravagant comfort-food craving, there was one clear choice.

Creamed Kale

Ordering was easy: a starter of thickly sliced tomatoes and onions with the house dressing, which was also the house steak sauce (think of Worcestershire sauce disguised as a thick dressing). Possibly a wedge salad with bacon and blue cheese. To follow, there was a T-bone steak, sliced, but with the bone served up for nibbling (and taking home for an imaginary dog). Fried potatoes. And creamed spinach. And after belts had been loosened, perhaps a piece of key lime pie. A light meal this was not.

Creamed Kale: Total comfort food, and much like creamed spinach, but with a little more substance.

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Cream of Kale

I think that for most of us, to like creamed spinach is to love creamed spinach. You have to go all in if you go at all. And I do love creamed spinach.

Creamed Kale

But because envelopes need the occasional pushing, I recently decided to cream up some kale in memory of my dad and grandpa. I know that in some circles kale is considered the king of the greens, and in others it’s considered “over.” I don’t belong to either camp, but I actually really like kale. It has similar nutritional perks to spinach, and holds up to heat with more presence than spinach.

If you are a kale skeptic, try baby kale. It is less rugged than more mature kale, but still has nice texture and doesn’t wilt down to nothing so fast in cooked recipes.

Creamed Kale

And when you cream it with a generous amount of cream and Parmesan, well… If that doesn’t make you a kale lover, than I don’t know what would. I have made this with heavy cream, light cream, whole milk, and half and half. While there is a varying degree of richness, all of these options work beautifully.

How to Make Creamed Kale

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Trim the tough middle rib from the leaves of kale, and roughly chop the leaves. Rinse them in a colander. Add them to the boiling water and boil for 5 minutes, until the kale is fairly tender. Drain in the colander and rinse with cold water. Then use your hands to squeeze the kale and dry as you can.

Creamed Kale

Place the cream or half-and-half in the pot you used to cook the kale. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and then lower the heat to medium and continue to simmer until reduced by about half, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and the red pepper flakes.

Add the blanched kale and simmer, stirring often, until the cream sauce is further reduced and coats the kale, about 3 minutes.

Creamed Kale

Stir in the Parmesan until the cheese is melted and everything is well blended.

Creamed Kale

Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot.

What to Serve with Creamed Kale

This begs to be served up next to a juicy steak, a roast chicken, or a piece of seared or roasted fish. It’s a perfect side dish for a holiday meal, too. Think about a standing rib roast, or a beef filet, or a classic baked ham.

Creamed Kale

Other Kale Recipes:

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Creamed Kale

Total comfort food, and much like creamed spinach, but with a little more substance.
Yield: 6 People
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 1 pound kale
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream , light cream or half-and-half
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Trim the tough middle rib from the leaves of kale, and roughly chop the leaves. Rinse them in a colander. Add them to the boiling water and boil for 5 minutes, until the kale is fairly tender. Drain in the colander, rinse with cold water, then use your hands to squeeze the kale and dry as you can.
  • Place the cream or half-and-half in the pot you used to cook the kale. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and then lower the heat to medium and continue to simmer until reduced by about half, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Add the blanched kale and simmer, stirring often, until the cream sauce is further reduced and coats the kale, about 3 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan until the cheese is melted and everything is well blended.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 179mg | Potassium: 426mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 8499IU | Vitamin C: 91mg | Calcium: 244mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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