Recipe: Sweet Kale with Lentils and Pine Nuts | Anti-Cancer Side Dish

OK, I know I am obsessed with kale but here is a another kale recipe to love!

Deep green kale is one of the cancer fighting super foods rich in sulporaphanes which support detoxification of environmental toxins and normal metabolism of estrogen’s that contribute to hormonal cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer. Kale is also uniquely high in the protective super antioxidant lutein. Pine nuts are rich in healthy fats which promote normal inflammation control. Eating an anti-inflammation diet is one of the key principles in creating a body resistant to the growth and development of cancer. This dish is high in plant fibers which contribute to normal bowel function and supports the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut, a key factor in robust immunity and estrogen excretion. Tumeric, the source of curcumin,  is one of the most potent anti-cancer spices in your kitchen and also contributes to bone health. Bright red paprika contributes anti-cancer  carotenoid lycopene.  (My favorite variety is Lancinato Kale because it has very tender leaves)

Ingredients and Preparation:

  • 1 lb. kale, washed, stems removed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 tbsp red-wine vinegar
  • 2 large onions, peeled and cut into 1/4″-thick slices
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter (leave this out and use more olive oil if you want a dairy free, vegan dish)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika, plus a bit extra to finish
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup french lentils, cooked
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted 
  • Salt and black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the kale and cook for four minutes. Strain, refresh in cold water and strain again. Soak the raisins in the vinegar and set aside.

Put a large saucepan on medium to high heat, add a tablespoon of the oil and all the butter and cook the onions until caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes or longer. Lower the heat to medium, add the garlic, paprika and turmeric, and cook for two minutes. Stir through the kale, a teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of pepper, and cook for two minutes until any liquid has evaporated. Stir in the raisins and their vinegar, the french lentils, pine nuts and remaining oil, and serve warm sprinkled with a little more paprika.

Serves 4 as a side dish (Vegan, Dairy Free, and Gluten Free)

This recipe is from one of my favorite chefs, Yotam Ottolenghi. His new cookbook, Jerusalem, is co-written with Sami Tamimi.