Kale to Feed an Army

This will take you literally 15 minutes, tops.  It’s all sorts of green.  It’s hearty, tastes great, works equally well as a side and a main, and you only have to clean one pot.

What’s not to love?

It also uses some ingredients you may not be familiar with.  Trust me: get them.  And not just for this dish, either.  They belong in any well-stocked kitchen.  Any creative cook will find dozens of things to do with all of them.

Moroccan oil-cured black olives are packed with flavor, like kalamata olives minus the vinegar.  I use them in tomato-based sauces, chopped salads, and any dish that would also welcome feta.

Brewer’s yeast is what brewers use to ferment beer.  (Unlike live brewer’s yeast which turns sugars into alcohol, the culinary version isn’t alive, and doesn’t produce alcohol).  It’s one of our richest source of B-vitamins.  It’s also my go-to for adding a savory, meaty punch vegetarian dishes like beans, greens, sauces, etc.  It’s a key ingredient in vegan cheeses, and vegetarian “chicken” broth.

Tahini is ground sesame seeds (“sesame butter”), quintessential to middle eastern foods like hummus and halvah, and of course tahini sauce on falafel.  Here, I’m inspired to use add tahini by all the African, Indian, and South American stews that add nut butters to boost richness and protein.

Emoi artichoke tapenade is great, first because it’s more than 80% artichoke – and 0% mayonnaise.  It’s also reasonably priced.  You’ll find hundreds of uses for it in the kitchen.  As a pizza topping, on toast, tossed into generic tomato sauce to add oomph

Feeds 8 as a side; 4 as a main.

1 ½ pounds kale, or other braising greens (collards, chard, mustard greens, yu choi) ½ cup pitted Moroccan oil-cured black olives, coarse chopped
1 container Emoi-brand artichoke tapenade 5 cloves garlic, coarse chopped
1 large purple onion, coarse chopped 2 heaping Tbsp brewer’s yeast (or more, to taste)
2 Tbsp olive oil or raw sesame oil ¼ cup lemon juice, or to taste
2 Tbsp tahini Salt and pepper to taste
Roughly 1 pound protein (tofu, black-eyed peas, paneer, red beans, cooked andouille…) Optional veggies: 2 carrots, parsnips, or burdock roots, thin-sliced into rounds


Chop the greens into medium-size pieces.

If your greens have tough stalks vs. tender leaves, separate the stalks out now.  That way, you can put them on the heat a few minutes ahead of the leaves, to give them a head start softening up.

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, sautee the onion + garlic + optional veggies in the oil until slightly softened.

Add the greens, the lemon, and a sprinkle of water. Cove, and steam, uncover and stir, cover and steam again, etc.; until it’s softened to your liking.  You may need to add another splash or two of water if it’s drying out.

Add everything else. Stir until warm.