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Mar 23, 2018
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Kale Spoonbread with Red Lentil Sauce

July 1st 01:07pm, 2013


A perfect side for any summer barbecue, this southern-inspired spoonbread uses leftover grilled corn (canned corn could be substituted) and the leafy greens that come to market during these hot summer months.

Don’t hesitate to cook down the extra greens from the bunch, too; they make an excellent accompaniment to the dish and are a great source of iron and calcium. This recipe will produce an abundance of red lentil and pepper sauce, but serve it up later in the week as a light summer soup or pair it with a side salad or a grilled cheese sandwich.

Kale Spoonbread with Red Lentil Sauce
6 Servings

Red Lentil Sauce*

2 red bell peppers
2 cups red lentils
1 quart vegetable stock
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. salt
Juice of half a lemon
Zest of 1 lemon

•  In a broiler, roast 1 red pepper, turning every several minutes until all the sides are blackened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Place the roasted pepper in a brown paper bag and close it tightly to trap the steam. When the pepper is cool, take it from the bag and remove the stem, skin and seeds. Cut the pepper into several large pieces and set aside.
•  Meanwhile, combine the lentils, vegetable stock, water and bay leaves together in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
• Remove the bay leaves. With a slotted spoon, scoop half the lentils into a food processor. Add the roasted pepper and pulse until smooth. Remove and set aside.
•  Strain the remaining lentils through a chinois for 10 minutes to remove excess liquid. Seed and chop the 1 raw red pepper into large pieces. Add the lentils and raw red pepper to the food processor. Pulse until smooth.
•  Pass both batches of the puree through a chinois to remove any remaining pepper skins. Season with salt, lemon juice and zest to taste.

* This sauce is prepared in two batches, as all the lentil and peppers will not fit in a standard-size food processor.

Kale Spoonbread

1 ½ cups cornmeal
1 ½ cups water
2 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
1 or 2 kale leaves, cut into thin strips
½ cup roasted corn (1 ear of corn)*
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sorghum or molasses (optional)

•  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
•  Combine cornmeal, water and buttermilk together in a heavy bottomed, 4-quart saucepan over moderate heat. Whisk continuously about 5 minutes, until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.
•  Separate the eggs, reserving the yolks. Beat the egg whites using a stand mixer or whisk until soft peaks form. Set aside.
•  Place the cornmeal mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium speed, slowly adding egg yolks, baking powder and sorghum until combined.
•  Fold in kale, roasted corn and egg whites. Pour mixture into a buttered, 8-by-8 inch casserole dish. Bake for 35 minutes, until spoonbread is set.

* To roast corn, place an ear of corn still in its husk on a grill over moderate heat (approximately 300 degrees) for 7 minutes a side, until the husks turn a caramel brown and the ear is tender. Corn also can be roasted in its husk under the broiler with the red pepper while preparing the sauce.

By Anne Marie and Dan Lodholz

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