Wined & Dined: Getting My Kale On
Some foods scream health. Their fiber-rich green-ness reeks of the dinosaur days and makes Paleo dieters clamor for more. Kale is undoubtedly one of those foods. While it’s curly leaves grace NYC restaurant menus year round to cater to the anorexic models health conscious crowd, something about this dark green veggie always reminds me of fall.
In an effort to keep the vegans quiet cover my polyphenolic bases, I’ve found some excellent dishes to make kale sing with a big glass-o-wine. The great part about kale is that it can do anything from add crunch to mac-and-cheese to create a citrusy greek salad base or even be a bitter accompaniment to a rich steak. And there is a wine for every one of Kale’s roles.
Right now, kale salads are totally my jam. They taste great on days one through four, and absolutely sing with Pinot Noir.
Recently, I had the pleasure of putting my dinosaur Kale alongside the Nobilo 2012 Icon Pinot Noirfrom New Zealand. The dish was simple and pure to itself, much like the ruby red Nobilo.
The recipe I used was similar to this Kale & Kidney Bean recipe, though I skipped some of the prep and went with a simple Kale+olive oil+garlic+pan method. Delicious, crispy, and perfect for a cold night.
Most people associate Marlborough, New Zealand with Sauvignon Blanc, but the Pinot Noir is the island’s top grape variety and the Nobilo proved to be a solid example of the region’s prowess with reds in the $20 range. This juice was a clear, deep shade of ruby with ripe red raspberry and plum notes on the nose with happy hints of wild strawberry lurking somewhere nearby. On the palate, those juicy aromas carried through with hints of vanilla and warm oak. The smooth finish was a great accompaniment to the crispiness of the kale and sultry, garlicky flavor of the salad.
On a more meat-friendly night, I could also see the Nobilo alongside a hunk of slow-cooked, herbed pork. (Maybe stuffed with kale? Or with kale on the side? Or just with carnivores?)