Pan Steamed Garden Kale with Garlic, Lemon, Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Kale is one of the easiest and quickest greens to cook, but like broccoli, you have to keep a watchful eye, as it will turn from a gorgeous vibrant green to a muddy dark green after 6 minutes of cooking. 

So many people have asked me how I cook kale, so I’m finally getting around to posting my really simple "non-recipe." Several varieties of kale grow abundantly in my garden, so I'm really lucky to be able to harvest leaves for immediate juicing or cooking. If you don't grow your own, try to find organic kale from your local farmer so you can ensure you have the freshest, most nutrient rich leaves without pesticides.

I like to cook this hearty leafy green with a quick sautée of oil and a pinch of garlic followed by a pan steaming. Kale goes with many foods. When ever you might serve broccoli, you could consider kale, such as with brown rice or as part of a nourishing Buddha bowl.  I love to have heaps of greens to balance out a carb-rich pasta meal. For example, as pictured below here with a plate of Cacio e Pepe, a classic Roman dish that I need a fix of every now and then (preferably in Rome, but I can make it at home too!).

I hope you enjoy it! To your health and happiness! xx, Juli

  • 6 cups of kale (preferably organic), washed, stemmed, and hand torn or chopped into bits
  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 pinch of minced garlic
  • lemon zest or juice
  • sea or Himalayan salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Optional extras

  • rice vinegar
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • toasted almonds
  1. In a pan on medium heat, saute a pinch of garlic in olive oil for about one minute until it’s aromatic.
  2. Toss in the kale and saute the leaves in the infused oil for about 30 seconds.
  3. Pour water in the pan until there is about 1 cm of water in the pan.
  4. Allow the kale leaves to steam in the pan for about 3 more minutes. (Watch closely so the leaves stay bright green! You don’t want the kale to cook for more than 5 or 6 minutes in total. This will depend on the heartiness of leaves.)
  5. Remove from the heat.
  6. Squeeze a little lemon juice and/or a little lemon zest onto the leaves, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Serve immediately.