Recipe: Kale Sautéed in Olive Oil & Garlic


I can’t believe I haven’t posted this recipe yet. Probably because it’s so simple that I didn’t think about putting it on the blog. But enough people have raved about it (if I do say so myself) that it’s time to share it with even more of you.

Shortly after moving to London in January, I sent F a message one day saying how excited I was to have found kale at the fruiterer. Once he figured out what kale was — grünkohl, in German — he asked how I planned on cooking it. Where he comes from, grünkohl is cooked one way: with pork belly, for a really long time. I said it’s great sautéed it in garlic and olive oil; F seemed skeptical but was game.

And he loved it. Sautéed kale retains some of its chewiness, and the garlic and olive oil impart smooth, earthy flavors. It’s so easy that I’m not even going to include ingredient measurements — just cook by feel. Use more or less garlic, or a different oil. Add some red pepper flakes. To quote Casino Royale, “It’s up to you.”

Kale Sautéed in Olive Oil & Garlic


  • One large bunch kale (any variety)
  • Generous dollop olive oil
  • 4-7 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • to taste: salt & pepper


  • Wash and roughly chop the kale into bite-sized pieces. Slice the garlic cloves thinly.
  • Put some olive oil in a dutch oven and place it over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the garlic cloves and sauté, stirring occasionally, until they are golden, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the kale to the pot, stir until it is coated with oil, season with salt and pepper, then put the lid on. Cook with the lid on, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender and even slightly caramelized, 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve plain or alongside other grilled veggies with yogurt sauce.


10 thoughts on “Recipe: Kale Sautéed in Olive Oil & Garlic

    1. taplatt Post author

      Isn’t it? I could make and eat kale like that every day. The technique is also great for other tough greens, like beet greens, radish greens, and/or Swiss chard.

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