Kale – it’s hardy and nutritious, and it is prospering in our garden despite the summer heat. Must admit that I’ve tried to like it in those trendy green smoothies or even raw in salads . . . but “like” is not a description I use for it in those forms. I do like it in soups and stews — when it has had plenty of time to wilt and also to lose the slight bitterness I often detect in the raw form.
Kale with Smoked Ham Hocks 8 to 10 servings
1 large onion, chopped
2 smoked ham hocks
5 to 6 cups water (start out with 5 adding more as needed)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup pearl barley
4 cups fresh kale
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon vinegar – either white or cider
- Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven or large sauce. Add onions and sauté.
- Add ham hocks, water, crushed red pepper and garlic. Cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 2 hours or until hocks are tender. Add pearl barley about last 20 minutes of cooking time.
- Wash kale; cut or pull the leaves from stems and finely chop (it will look like a lot but will cook down). Add greens and salt to hocks. Cook 30 to 40 minutes or until greens are done and barley is tender. Add vinegar, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Remove meat from ham hock bones and serve.
|Ham hocks have been added to the sautéd onions (step #2)|
|Kale has wilted and is tender; it cooks along with the ham hocks and barley.|