What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

– expectations of myself regarding the cooking of kale, leeks, and chickpeas “salad”

on April 20, 2016

A couple-to-three years ago, a CSA (“community supported agriculture”) farm that Nimue and I participated in shared a recipe for “kale, leeks, and chickpeas salad.” She rather liked and I fell into an infatuation with it that matured into a steadfast love. So, I cook and we enjoy it often when kale is “coming on.”

I have come to regard the recipe as the merest of a sketch. To start, I make vastly more of it (leftovers = tomorrow’s lunch, x2). I had no leeks tonight, but it was trivial to substitute an yellow onion (Georgia grown, to its credit). But experience has proved that roasted red peppers are essential.

Some fine day, we shall grow and preserve our own. But not today. Today, I needed into my “boughten” peppers. But I couldn’t unscrew the lid.

That would’ve irritated me when I was young and thought I should be strong enough to force it with just my brute strength. And after I got over that, it would have bothered me a bit that I couldn’t attempt it with a tool more refined than Grandpa’s old pipe wrench.

But, heh-heh, Grandpa’s old wrench cranked that sucker right off. Give Grandpa and me a place to stand and a lever long enough, and we’ll move the world.


And here’s the recipe, for which I regret I can’t credit a source:



1/4 cup olive oil
1 large leek, white and light green part only, quartered, chopped and rinsed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 bunch kale, stemmed, chopped and washed in a colander
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 heaping tablespoons chopped roasted red pepper (fresh or from a jar)


In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, add oil. When oil shimmers, add the leek, garlic, salt and paprika and stir until leek wilts, about 1 minute. Add kale, chickpeas and red pepper and stir to combine. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, checking to make sure pan doesn’t scorch. If needed, add a tablespoon of water to keep a very small amount of liquid in the pan. Once kale is tender, taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Serve hot, at room temperature or cold after a night in the fridge.

shedding style: release

Comments welcome … have you celebrated the subtraction of any perfectionism lately?

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