Remember that plum tree I told you about in my backyard? Well, it has a lovely companion named Mr. Apple Tree who will be joining us for today’s recipe. I’m not sure what type of apples they are, but they are quite crisp and delicious, and they hurt when they fall on your head. Yes, this happened. One especially vengeful apple almost took out poor Captain, but he darted out of the way at the last second. (For those of you who are curious, raccoons also like apples, but not as much as they love plums. Hateful creatures.)
Apples earned their Health Food Merit Badge ages ago, I think we’ve all also heard by now that kale is supposed to be a miracle food. Nutritionists say this Brassica Behemoth will help prevent your risk of cancer, lower your cholesterol, improve blood circulation, and make your hair shiny like a unicorn mane. I made up that last bit, but I feel it must be the case. Regardless, kale sure tastes like it should be a health food, and I’m all for it as long as I can add bacon…
And add bacon I did! I checked in with my old friends at Real Simple Magazine for some recipe ideas, and I found a lovely sounding little dish to take for a spin. I worked in Real Simple’s food department for awhile during the time Joe and I lived in New York, so I like to flip through the magazine from time to time to see what they’re up to. This recipe is real simple, indeed (sorry, couldn’t help myself) and a perfect weeknight side dish. I made a couple of small changes (I have a very difficult time leaving a recipe alone; anyone else have this problem?) and I definitely plan to make it all through the fall. xo, Holly (The Apiarist)
Kale with Bacon and Apples
Recipe adapted from Real Simple
This dish makes a perfect side to a simple piece of fish or chicken, or you can add any or all of the following to make it a one dish meal: crumble blue cheese, toasted almonds, cooked quinoa or brown rice, and/or diced cooked potatoes. Also, when adding the kale to the skillet, it helps to do so in 2-3 batches to prevent it from overflowing.
3-4 slices bacon
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 large apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and more to taste
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and crumble once cooled. Add onions to rendered bacon fat and cook until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add apples and cook for another 5 minutes. Add kale, salt, and 2 tablespoons of water to skillet, and toss until kale is tender and wilted, about 8 minutes. Add vinegar, mustard, red pepper, nutmeg, and salt, to taste. Stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes or so. Top with reserved bacon and enjoy! Serves 4 as a side.