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Wilted Baby Kale

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped 

1 teaspoon anchovy paste 

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

1 large head escarole, cleaned and chopped into 1-inch pieces 

Kosher salt

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

5 ounces baby kale 

3 slices toasted bread, chopped, from Spicy Turkey Breast, recipe follows, or 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Spicy Turkey Breast:

2 teaspoons toasted fennel seed, ground

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 

1 teaspoon dried oregano 

1 teaspoon onion powder 

1 teaspoon smoked paprika 

1 cup crumbled store-bought cornbread

1/2 cup milk, at room temperature 

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed 

1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese 

2 teaspoons Calabrian chili paste 

2 (2-pound) boneless, skin-on turkey breast halves, butterflied

Six 1-inch thick slices ciabatta bread 

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Special equipment:
butcher's twine
  1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, anchovy paste and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until fragrant and toasted, about 1 minute. Add the escarole and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until the escarole is completely wilted and coated in all the flavors of the oil, about 2 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat and add the lemon zest, baby kale and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss well to coat and slightly wilt the baby kale. Toss with the toasted bread, if using, or the pine nuts, and serve.

Spicy Turkey Breast:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Mix together the fennel seed, salt, oregano, onion powder and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Mix together the cornbread and milk in a medium bowl. Allow the mixture to soak for 10 minutes. Stir in the sausage, Pecorino and chili paste. Use your hands to mix well.
  3. Lay the turkey breasts skin-sides down on a cutting board so that they are open like a book. Pat half the stuffing onto each skinless side, leaving a 1/2-inch border, then close each half so the skin sides are up. Tie each turkey breast tightly with 4 pieces of butcher's twine about 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart. Rub the seasoning mix all over the turkey.
  4. Lay the bread on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place the turkey breasts skin-sides up on the bread and drizzle the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil over the tops. Roast 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees F and continue to roast until the skin is brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees F, about 40 minutes more. Allow the turkey to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Cook’s Note

To make a quick sauce, bring 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth to a simmer over medium heat. In a small bowl make a slurry by mixing 5 teaspoons of cornstarch with 5 teaspoons of water. Whisk the slurry into the simmering broth. Season with 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon oregano and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.

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