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Grilled Kale with Garlic, Chiles and Bacon

Photo: John Kernick
Total time 35 mins
Yield 4 to 6
Grilling kale gives it a toasty flavor; the smartest way to prepare kale for grilling is blanching it so it becomes tender and doesn't burn.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound kale, thick stems discarded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 clove (large) garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 (small) fresh red chile, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 slices (thick) bacon, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

How to Make It

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the kale until it is just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and lightly squeeze out the excess water. Blot the kale dry and transfer to a bowl. Add the vegetable oil, garlic and chile, season with salt and pepper and toss well to coat.

  2. In a skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp, 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

  3. Light a grill. Place a 10-inch springform ring (not the bottom) on the grill to contain the kale. Carefully pat the kale inside the ring, pressing down to form an even layer. Grill until lightly charred on the bottom, 3 minutes. With tongs, turn the kale over and grill on the other side for 3 minutes. Alternatively, grill the kale on a perforated grill pan, tossing occasionally.

  4. Transfer the kale to a bowl and immediately toss with the bacon, olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice; season with salt. Serve right away.