ORLANDO, Florida - Kale is being called the queen of greens because it packs a powerful nutritional punch.
The nutrient-rich powerhouse is hailed as a natural way to lower cholesterol and fight cancer. But its sturdy texture makes some wonder how to cook with it.
Sous chef Macy MacNealy has a delicious way to serve up the queen of greens.
Yellowtail Snapper with Kale Pesto and Sundried Tomato, Sweet Potato, and Red Kale Orzo
Yellowtail Snapper with Kale Pesto Ingredients:
3 oz. of Snapper Filets or Whole Snapper
7 Crushed Garlic Cloves
1 Cherry Pepper
2 oz. Toasted Various Nut Blend
3 Parsley Sprigs
6 Basil Leaves
4 Mint Sprigs
2 Destemmed Kale Leaves
2 Tbsp. Shredded Pecorino Cheese
1 ½ Tbsp. of Agave
2 cups of Olive Oil
2 tsp. of Kosher Salt
1 tsp. of Cracked Black Pepper
Sundried Tomato, Sweet Potato, and Red Kale Orzo Ingredients:
1 cup of Cooked Orzo
1/3 cup of Vidalia Onion
¼ cup of Carrots
3 Sliced Radishes
2 oz. of Sundried Tomatoes
3 Destemmed Red Kale Leaves
¼ cup of Sweet Potatoes (diced and roasted)
3 Chopped Garlic Cloves
2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. of Balsamic and Olive Oil Mix
½ oz. of Toasted Nut Mix
2 Tbsp. of Shredded Pecorino Cheese
Kale Pesto: Heat up sauté pan (med/hi), add 1 Tbsp. olive oil in pan and add garlic. Sautee for 30 seconds then add kale and cook for another 30 seconds; just until kale starts to wilt and turn bright green, then remove from heat. Next, place shallots, cherry pepper, agave, toasted nuts in food processor along with the garlic and kale. Pulse a couple of times, use a spatula to wipe down the sides and incorporate all the ingredients. Now with the processor on, slowly add the olive oil and blend until it turns into a creamy paste (about 1 minute). Take the lemon & zest it, then squeeze the juice into the pesto along with the zest, salt and pepper, and pulse twice. Set aside.
Snapper: If you're using whole snapper; fillet the fish leaving skin intact. For either fillet you choose, with skin side up score the skin (so it doesn't curl when cooking). Heat sauté pan to med/high heat for about 1 minute, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper on both sides of snapper and place in pan flesh side down. Sear for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown and remove from heat. Flip the fish, top it with 1 Tbsp. of pesto and place in 350°F oven and bake for 7-8 minutes.
Sundried Tomato, Sweet Potato, and Red Kale Orzo: In a heated (med/high heat) non-stick pan add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and add onions and sauté for 30 seconds or until light brown. Turn heat down to medium and add carrots, cook for another 45 seconds tossing consistently. Now add radishes and garlic, toss a couple of more times; once the radishes start to turn translucent add the remaining ingredients and cook for 1 min. Remove from heat, plate and drizzle balsamic and olive oil blend on plate around orzo. Halve the lemon and squeeze juice over and around orzo. Sprinkle with Pecorino.
Another reason to switch to kale is just one cup of raw kale packs more than 100% of the daily requirements of vitamins A, C, and K. The leafy greens also have lutein, which helps to keep eyes and vision healthy.