Kale with Goat Cheese and Toasted Crumbs

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2 large or 4 small servings Easy
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Ingredients (14)

For the breadcrumbs:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs, from 1 slice country bread, such as pain au levain
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the kale:

  • 1 large bunch kale, any variety, stems and ribs removed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Smoked salt (optional) or additional kosher salt, to taste

For finishing:

  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese (chèvre)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil


Tangy, fresh goat cheese and breadcrumbs toasted in butter give kale richness and dimension in this simple side dish, capable of standing in as the center of a vegetarian lunch or supper. You can use flat or curly kale here.

What to buy: Smoked salt—coarse salt smoked over fragrant wood, such as hickory—is a nice addition, though not essential. Feel free to substitute sea or kosher salt.


To toast the breadcrumbs:
  1. 1Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. 2Add the garlic, breadcrumbs, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the crumbs are nicely toasted and crunchy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

To cook the kale:

  1. 1Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the kale and measured salt. Cook at a steady boil until the kale is tender, about 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the variety (curly kale takes a bit longer than flat kale—keep tasting so you don’t overcook it; it should be tender but not mushy). Drain into a colander. Cool for 10 minutes, squeeze out the excess moisture with your hands, then transfer the kale to a cutting board and chop it coarsely.
  2. 2Meanwhile, heat the measured oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chopped kale and toss well until the kale is heated through. Add the cider vinegar and black pepper to taste. Taste and season with smoked salt, if using, or additional kosher salt as needed.

To assemble:

  1. 1Serve the kale on warmed plates. Crumble the goat cheese over the top and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. 2Sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs and serve immediately.
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