I often get stuck in a rut when it comes to side dishes. For regular day to day cooking, I don’t want to go all out on a fancy accompaniment to a meal, especially if I have put a lot of effort in to the main component. Most often, I serve a simple salad, or blanched and sauteed vegetables on the side, but it can be boring, especially when not drizzling with olive oil for extra flavour and luxury, something I no longer do. More often than not, Mat finishes his meal having devoured the main constituent and just picked at the sides.
Cooking for guests is easier. I feel happy to put more effort into every aspect of the dish and I usually have more time, not quickly trying to feed the two of us after lectures or work, before we eat the biscuit tin (tin and all). I love to roast veg with blends of spices and fresh, fragrant herbs, or make various, exciting salads with flavoursome dressings and crunchy toppings. That’s just too time consuming and expensive for every day meals.
Thus, my latest home cooking challenge for myself has been to create more exciting side dishes that are quick, delicious, light and don’t require expensive ingredients like highest quality oils, exotic produce and nuts and seeds.
This dish ticks all the boxes and is so simple I can’t believe I haven’t been making it all along! It’s an effortless combination of kale, chili and garlic that just works so well and will liven the most boring plate of food and most bored feeder.
Ingredients: Serves 2
- 200g kale, leaves stripped (stems given to bunnies or other suitable nibblers)
- 1 chili (adjust according to heat preference, remove seeds for less heat)
- 1 clove of garlic
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Preheat a cast iron skillet or non stick frying pan over a medium heat. Rinse the kale and add to the pan (it will wilt in the excess water from rinsing the leaves).
- Add the sliced chili and garlic and saute, stirring all the time to ensure it doesn’t catch, until the kale is wilted but still al dente and the chili and garlic fragrant. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot from the pan.