Kale with shallots and bacon
1 head kale
1 shallot, minced
2 strips bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
salt and pepper
1-2 tbsp dry sherry
1. Prep the kale by removing the stems and tearing the leaves into chunks. Place the kale into a sink filled with at least 3" of cold water, swirl to clean, then remove to a salad spinner. Dry thoroughly, then reserve.
2. In a cast iron skillet, heat the bacon pieces over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp and has rendered out most of its fat, 6-8 minutes. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate.
3. Pour off all but 1 tbsp bacon fat. Return pan to medium heat and add shallots, stirring constantly, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes (don't let them take on too much color; turn the heat down or remove pan from heat if necessary). Turn heat up to medium-high; add kale into hot pan by handfuls, turning frequently (once the first batch starts to wilt slightly, add the next handful). Continue until all kale has been added, about 3 minutes.
4. Immediately remove kale to a serving bowl. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Drizzle 1-2 tbsp dry sherry over kale and toss. Sprinkle with reserved bacon pieces and serve.
If you are concerned about the bacon, you may leave it out (I have no idea why you'd want to do that, but still). Just use olive or peanut oil instead. The taste just won't be the same, though.
Also, if the shallots look like they're going to burn, add a couple of teaspoons of water to the pan with the first handful of kale; be careful, because it'll sizzle, but it'll stop the shallots from cooking while not interfering with the kale. You want the kale to wilt slightly and turn a bright green, but not get mushy, so a hot pan is important.
In fact, if you're pan-roasting something, once it comes out of the oven and is removed from the pan, just use that pan to make this dish while the meat is resting. You likely won't even need to turn the burner on - the residual heat alone will do the job.
Pairs Well With
Kale is a great leafy green: hearty and bold-tasting, without being vegetal. Most recipes I see for kale use it in soups (in which it is also good), but this is my favorite way to do it, good as a side for any hearty beef and potatoes dish.