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Cooking with kale — no massage necessary

Stephanie Pedersen's new book offers up 75 plus inventive recipes using kale including this delicious potato kale cakes recipe.

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If you're like us, you're looking to incorporate kale into your diet beyond just chips — though those are great, too — and the occasional stir fry. Stephanie Pedersen's new book offers up more than 75 inventive recipes using the superfood, including the delicious potato kale cakes below — perfect as a guilt-free appetizer for your next party.

Potato Kale Cakes

Potato kale cakes
Unlike latkes, which are made with grated potatoes, these use mashed potatoes (yes, you can use leftovers!). The result is super elegant, super delicious, and pretty easy, too.

Ingredients:Sauce (optional)
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1⁄8 teaspoon chipotle powder (use more if you can take the heat)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Potato cake
1½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
¼ cup whole milk
2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter
Salt, to taste
3½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup onion, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
½ pound kale, deribbed, coarsely chopped
Optional: ½ teaspoon lemon zest

Directions: Sauce
Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl. Can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill.

Directions: Potato cake
1. Cook potatoes in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain; return potatoes to same saucepan.
2. Add milk and butter. Mash potatoes until smooth. Season with ½ teaspoon coarse salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
3. Transfer 3 cups mashed potatoes to large bowl and cool (reserve remaining potatoes for another use).
4. Heat 1½ tablespoons oil in large deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion softens, about 5 minutes.
5. Increase heat to medium-high. Add kale and cook until kale softens, about 7 minutes.
6. Add kale mixture, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper to potatoes and thoroughly combine. Allow to sit for 45 minutes or more until mixture is thoroughly cool.
7. When the potato-kale mixture is cool, shape it by patting ¼-cup portions into patties about ½-inch thick. Keep shaping until all potato-kale mixture has been formed into patties.
8. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook, without moving (you want a crust to form!), until they are brown and crispy on bottom, about 4 minutes.
9. Carefully turn cakes over. Cook until brown on bottom, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to plates. Top each cake with dollop of optional sauce, salsa, or other condiment.

Is it really necessary to massage kale?

Stephanie Pedersen, author of "Kale: The Complete Guide to the World's Most Powerful Superfood," answers the big question about preparing kale.

"Not deribbing the kale leaves is the biggest mistake I personally see when I teach clients how to cook. The rib is much denser and more fibrous than the leaf — if you don't remove this, you'll end up overcooking the kale leaves in order to ensure the rib is done. And believe me, it takes just about forever for those ribs to soften up. Don't throw the ribs away, though. If you have a juicer, they are great run through the machine as part of your morning green juice.

"As for massaging kale, this means giving it a good bunch of scrunching and squishing in order to breakdown the fiber within the leaves. It is completely unnecessary (I personally would never waste my time), but it is a good way to soften up raw kale leaves for a raw kale salad when you're feeding people who don't digest kale well."

 
 
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