Sunday, February 5, 2012

Kale Fried Rice

I don’t know about you, but when I heard Gwyneth Paltrow coming out with a cookbook, I rolled my eyes.  I was a bit like “What can that skinny-macrobiotic diet-eating B know about real food?  Doesn’t she only eat her food raw?”  (Yes I am the type to make snap judgements, in case you can’t tell.)  But then I heard some pretty good reviews about it, so when I was browsing the library one day and saw it, I decided to check it out.  Another reason I thought I’d give it a shot is because when Gwyneth was in Nashville for a couple months shooting “Country Strong”, she did some great write ups in her newsletter GOOP about my fair city.  Some of the spots she named were favorites of mine, and it seems she really took the time to explore what we have to offer, rather than just staying cooped up in her penthouse apartment.  (GOOP Nashville Part 1 and Part 2)

One of the first dishes I chose to make was this Kale Fried Rice, along with her Teriyaki Salmon (sorry guys, didn’t get a picture, but it was delicious).  The last time I made brown rice, it was sticky & mushy, so I knew I needed to change up my method.  I was really hoping Gwyneth would include a method for cooking brown rice (because I assume she probably makes it a lot), but alas she did not.  After some quick googling, I found Pinch My Salt’s adaption of a method from Saveur, and I can safely say this will be my preparation from now on.  The rice was the perfect texture for frying in this dish.  We really love kale, and I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t get around to signing up for a share in the Winter CSA this year.  I miss all those lovely greens.  The key to integrating it into this dish is to prepare it well.  Chop off the thick stems, and slice it thin into ribbons.

This went perfect with the salmon, but I was very excited to have leftovers.  I knew EXACTLY what I was going to do with it for lunch the next day… Top it with a runny fried egg!  That may have been the best decision I made all week.  The egg added some protein, but also added tons of flavor.  It was rich, savory, and perfect for the rice.  Though prepping kale can be a bit time consuming, it is definitely worth it in this dish.  In fact, I can see myself preparing a double batch of this to eat on throughout the week.  All you’d need to do is reheat the leftovers in the microwave, and fry up an egg to top it off.  This dish will be made again and again in my kitchen.

I’m eating my words, maybe Gwyneth knows a thing or two around the kitchen!  Her cookbook is named My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness and is available on Amazon.  Or be like me and check your library!  (This is NOT a sponsored post, obviously I would not refer to her as a B if it was.  I just liked the first two recipes I tried from her cookbook and thought y’all would want to know!)


Kale Fried Rice

Yield: 4 servings

This is great as a side dish in an Asian inspired meal, or perfect on its own topped with a runny friend egg.


1/2 lb (225 g) kale (about 1/2 bunch), thick stems discarded
1-1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled & finely minced
3 scallions, trimmed, thinly sliced on diagonal
2-1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 Tbsp soy sauce


Cut the kale leaves in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into very thin ribbons (chiffonade). Steam the kale for 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, being careful not to brown the garlic. Raise the heat to medium and add the steamed kale and scallions. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the rice and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring. Add the soy sauce and cook for 30 seconds more.

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