Sauteed Kale with Bacon & Apples | Farmers Market Series

Not to start a panic or anything but Thanksgiving is two days short of three weeks away! If you’re hosting this year, I hope you’ve got your ducks in a row. The last thing I want for anyone is an overwhelming feeling of stress from procrastination until the last minute. Get those turkeys ordered, set that timeline for prep and execution, start stocking up on supplies and ingredients that won’t spoil...and in case you need a helping hand to get started, we put together a few tips. Regardless of the occasion, recipes that whip up quick without much effort are ideal for busy weeknights or holidays. This sauteed kale recipe is tasty, it’s fast, and there are only three total ingredients making it a winner. I served it for a regular weeknight dinner alongside seared steaks but this would be a delicious addition to any holiday dinner table as well.

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I’m sad to say this is one of the final farmers market recipes this year. We only have two left with the season winding down which will take us right up to Thanksgiving. There are still opportunities to support local farmers though. For example, one of the farmers that has a tent at my local farmers market sells year-round from their actual farm which isn’t too far away. I know big cities bring their farmers markets indoors as well. GreenCity Market in Chicago has quite a few vendors year round so there’s always something great to buy there. If you do shop at any indoor markets or visit actual farms, be prepared for lower supply and much of the same throughout winter. With the exception of farms and organizations that have access to greenhouses, most of what we see (at least in the northern Midwest) throughout winter is root veggies. I’m not complaining though. Potatoes are a girl’s best friend!

Kale is one of those vegetables that people either love or hate. Those who hate it, really hate it though. It’s hard to get them to embrace it...unless you add bacon. For starters, kale needs a little TLC to be its best. The leaves should be massaged, they should be marinated, or they should be cooked a little. For this recipe, rinse the kale and chop it. You don’t want any giant pieces of kale. Cook a few slices of bacon and let the fat render. Once the bacon is nice and crisp, remove it to a paper towel lined plate so it can drain and avoid getting soggy. Remove all but about two tablespoons of the bacon grease, put the heat back on and add the chopped kale. Saute the kale in the bacon grease for a few minutes until it begins to soften and develops a rich green color. The bacon grease will infuse the kale a bit to give it a nice meaty, smoky flavor. With the addition of the apples, the kale gets a little bit of sweetness and tartness plus added crunch. Topped with the salty bacon, you’ve got yourself one bomb kale dish.

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Sauteed Kale with Apples & Bacon
6 slices Bacon, diced
2 Apples, cored and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bunch Kale

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp and remove to a paper towel. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease. Add the kale to the pan and saute 6-8 minutes until wilted down at least a quarter or a third of the way. Add the apples and cook a few more minutes. Remove from the heat and if you’d like, spread onto a platter or into a serving bowl, and sprinkle with the bacon bits. Serve.