Sweet caramelized onions and apples and earthy kale make the perfect side dish.
What is a side dish?
A side dish is simply a prepared food item that accompanies a main protein in any meal. It represents a way to both separate things like starches and vegetables from that protein (typically a meat, poultry or seafood preparation) while somewhat linking them in some way, perhaps with a sauce, gravy, or medley of consistent spices and seasonings. For many traditional diners, the side dish may involve a starch like potatoes or rice, but vegetables are also an important part of side dishes. In fact, many traditional meals in western cuisine involve separate side consisting of both a starch and a vegetable. With vegetables, the most important part for the chef is to find harmony to tie the plate together and accentuate and compliment the protein that is usually considered the featured attraction of the entree. Our favorite development in the last few years is that there’s no differentiation between a starch and vegetable for most chefs. They mix them, they match them, or they happily eschew one or the other. From a nutritional standpoint, side dishes should also provide essential nutrients and healthy elements that the protein by itself simply cannot provide.
The healthiest of side dishes should help round out the benefits of the entree into a healthier whole as a whole, with each component playing a role.
On its own, kale won’t win any flavor awards, but this recipe turns the calcium- and fiber-rich vegetable into a dish that will tickle your taste buds. The caramelized onions bring out the sweet, earthy flavor of the kale, and create a low calorie, fabulous tasting side dish.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 apple, skin on, cored, cubed
- 6 cups thinly sliced kale, any variety
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoons honey
- Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, apple, and salt.
- Cook 1 minute, stirring often.
- Add the honey and lower the heat to low, cook 3 to 4 minutes stirring often until the onions and apples are golden.
- Add the kale and keep the heat on low. Cover and cook 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally until the kale is soft. Serve immediately
Recipe Courtesy of National Kale Day 2013
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