Strolling along at the local farmer’s market, I noticed these huge kale calling to me. They were like, “I’m huge and cool so eat me!!!” The guy selling them was so excited about them because some local culinary students had a debate on what to do with them since they’re water resistant. I’m not sure if they came to a conclusion, he didn’t say. Of course, my mind was already spinning on what I wanted to do. A huge edible leaf? Wraps! To make wraps with these, you have to find the biggest of the big. Plenty of these kale leaves were still too small to make wraps with so if your plan is wraps, make sure you get the real dinosaurs of the batch. Now, as is, they’re related to the broccoli family, and so they stink like broccoli. But don’t you worry, a little lemon, salt and steam will ensure that your wrap won’t be a stinky broccoli wrap. I do like broccoli, but I don’t think a wrap encased with what I wanted to put into it is the best idea. Maybe some melted cheddar and ham and eggs. An almost Denver dinosaur kale wrap?
I also had the good fortune to go to my Dad’s house with my son (who is 22 months right now) to pick some fresh strawberries from his garden! We had the best time picking fresh strawberries and eating them direct from the plant. I guess I wasn’t thinking before we left our house to go to Opa’s (grandpa in German), because I decided that a nice plain white t-shirt looked nice with his black pants. My little guy demanded one strawberry for every one I put in the bowl. He ate them so fast he had strawberry juice running down his mouth and onto his nice white t. He kept signing more (he still prefers signing to talking but does say a few words, he’ll kinda say mow while signing more) and so he got to eat lots of strawberries yesterday. To all you parents, I had lots more clean-up to do other than just his shirt, but it was worth it to see his cute face drooling fresh strawberries.
So, with what I had at home and my fresh garden yummies, I decided to make some Dinosaur Kale Wraps with Pancetta, Onion, Strawberries, Feta and Pine Nuts. The boldness of the feta and the sweetness of the strawberries helped to eliminate if any of the broccoli flavor left in the kale. The flavors all went nicely together and I finished three of them in no time, but if I were going to do it again, I think it’s be great with goat cheese. It was a mediterranean wrap of sorts but you can do whatever you’d like with them! I think for my next batch of dinosaur kale wraps, I may make an asian-style wrap with rice and yakiniku sauce and do more of a tight-roll style.
- 3 oz pancetta, chopped
- 1/4 vidalia onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup little garden strawberries, halved
- 1/8 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup feta
- 5 dinosaur kale leaves
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- Rinse kale leaves and remove smallest portion of leaf and stem. Using a sharp knife with the hard end of the kale stem facing up (kale leaf laying flat on cutting board), slice as much of the stem off of the leaves as you can without cutting into the leaf ruining the integrity of the leaf. In other words…thin the stem with a knife until the stem is level with the leaf
- Rub leaves with a fresh lemon slice and sprinkle a little salt on them to soften
- Steam leaves just a few minutes 3-5, you don’t want to lose the green color. Otherwise, it’ll be more of a purple/green and still taste great, it just won’t be as vibrant looking
- Lay leaves out flat and pat with paper towel
- Saute onions in butter until softened, add pancetta and cook until pancetta and onions start to turn golden brown…the onions caramelize:)
- Layer the pancetta onion mixture, feta, strawberries and pine nuts equally amongst the kale. Season with olive oil and vinegar and pepper if you’d like. It shouldn’t need salt due to the pancetta
- Wrap like a skinny burrito!
ps…if you’re local and want to know the vendor, it’s www.blacksheepfarms.com