Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tech to Table in the Berkshires

Tech to Table 
The scene inside Mezze Bistro + Bar in Williamstown, Massachusetts at 9:45 p.m. is a lively one. Inside the high-ceilinged room where everybody seems to know one another, a woman with an air of Kim Gordon cool offers wine to a couple camped out in a corner banquette......continue at Take Magazine.

Nancy Thomas and Bo Peabody, who pioneered farm-to-table dining in the Berkshires nearly 20 years ago, at a Mezze Restaurant Group dinner at the James Beard House March 9. Photo by Clay Williams.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The purpose of winter.....

Henry David 
"The winter was not given to us for no purpose. We must thaw its cold with our genialness. We are asked to find out and appropriate all the nutrients it yields. If it is a cold and hard season, its fruit, no doubt, is the more concentrated and nutty."
Bashista Farm, Southampton MA

Monday, March 2, 2015

After the tasting.....

A snowy afternoon interview with sommelier Nancy Clarke of MKRT after tasting 15 or so great red and white Italian wines...

Are you a wine snob or are you a sommelier?

I'm a sommelier because I love exploring the different wines, foods and cultures of the world.

Nancy Clarke, Sommelier, MRKT Restaurant 

VL: Where did you learn to drink wine?
Nancy: My dad always grew up drinking Napa Valley Cabs and so he's definitely the first person to introduce me to high quality wine!

VL: Where did you get your training?
Nancy:  I trained under Master Sommelier Alpana Singh in Chicago, which was my first introduction to the world of wine. After that, I worked with sommelier Richard Reich at Brix Wine Bar in Sunset Beach. I also studied at Boston University's Elizabeth Bishop School of Wine under the tutelage of William Nesto and Sandy Block, who are both Masters of Wine through the Institute of Masters of Wine.

VL: in Bricks and Morter?
Nancy: A measure, the sugar content of an aqueous solution.


VL: Of course....what’s new in South Deerfield home of MRKT?
Nancy: South Deerfield is in the heart of so many great farms and beautiful scenery. We are so lucky to be able to work with talented farmers and people who truly care about creating great food and preserving the natural world for generations to come.

VL: Will all these bottles go to waste? 
Nancy: (no answer)

VL: How do you pair wine with local food?
Nancy: I like to think of pairing wine with food just like adding ingredients in cooking. If you have a salty, fatty dish what would you add to cut the fattiness? A squeeze of lemon juice? If you treat wine like just another ingredient, you can merge the wine seamlessly with the food. At MRKT, we use so many beautiful, delicate local ingredients that it's important to use the wine as a highlighter to really bring out the quality of the local produce.

VL: What is your favorite thing on the menu?
Nancy: Our menu changes seasonally but right now it's definitely the Crispy Pork Belly. It's like the best breakfast ever!

VL: What’s the most you ever paid for a bottle of wine?
Nancy: Hmm... Honestly? I really don't pay that much for wine. 

VL: Me neither.
Nancy: I'm much more focused on trying to find a high-quality bottle at an everyday price! Now, the most expensive bottle that I've ever tasted? Probably, the 1992 Screaming Eagle, Cabernet Sauvignon.

VL: What’s the best glass of wine you ever drunk? I mean drank?
Nancy: Ah, the best glass of wine I've ever drank was a glass of 2001 Fattoria de Terrazze "Visions of J" Rosso Conero. I had it with my dad when he came to visit me in Chicago when I first moved there.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sunday Tasting of Italian Wines in South Deerfield

Wine Tasting Sunday from 2pm to 4pm at MRKT in S. Deerfield. Spend the afternoon drinking bits of Italy with the restaurant's sommelier, 24-year-old Nancy Clarke. Reservations required for March 1 event. Call 413-397-2190.
Sommelier Nancy Clarke, MRKT

On Wednesday, Nancy' last class before she had to go to work at 4:30 was in Quechua, an indigenous language spoken in Argentina and Ecuador. By the time she got to MRKT, a little restaurant in South Deerfield, she was fully focused on France. Just last week a bottle of Chateau Flotis 2011 and a bottle of Domaine Capmartin 2012 were moved from the "by-the-glass" list to the "by-the-bottle" list. It had to be done because the cases were running low. 

At MRKT, the "by-the-glass wine list” has no less than five red wines, six white wines, a rose, a house Cabernet Sauvignon and four desert wines.  The aforementioned Chateau Flotis and Domaine Capmartin will be replaced with wines from small distributors that meet Nancy’s standards for the little farm-to-table menu that is heavy on the local and the artisan.

There are two ways to pair wines, according to 24-year-old sommelier. The first is the lemon rule. If the food you are serving requires a bit of acid or lemon, a bit of brightness, then the wine should be bright. For example, a tuna tartare which is usually served with olive oil lemon and lemon would fare well with a Sauvignon Blanc.

The second rule is simple. If you love the wine, you'll like the food. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Party Wings by Tim Wilcox

RECIPE: Party Wings

Tim Wilcox of Kitchen Garden Farm 

This is my version of chicken wings, the ultimate party food. 

My recipe combines elements of Thai fried chicken, Pok Pok's Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings, and Buffalo wings. Plus, it features our Kitchen Garden brand sriracha, which is now widely available at stores throughout the Valley.

3 lbs party style chicken wings (cut into drumettes and flats)
1/2  cup sugar
1/2 cup fish sauce
8 large garlic cloves, 4 minced, 4 thinly sliced 
2 Tbsp minced cilantro roots (optional)
1 cup rice flour, corn starch or tapioca starch (not glutinous rice flour)
Canola or peanut oil for deep frying
1/4 cup Kitchen Garden Sriracha
1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce 
Homemade roasted chili powder, optional

1. In a large bowl, combine the wings, sugar, fish sauce and minced garlic and cilantro roots. Refrigerate overnight (or put in your entryway since there's not room in your fridge and it's the middle of winter anyway). 

2. 20 minutes before you plan to serve the wings, heat about a quart of oil in a deep cast iron skillet or dutch oven to 375 degrees. 

3. Drain the wings and discard liquid from marinade. 

4.Dump the rice flour or starch onto a large plate and coat the wings thoroughly, a few at a time, then set them on a dusted baking sheet. Use more rice flour if necessary to get a nice coating on the wings. 

5. Fry the sliced garlic until golden and just beginning to brown on the edges, about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.

6. When the oil is hot, fry the wings, in batches if necessary, until cooked through and golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Drain on paper towels. (The wings can be held for hours, uncovered, in a low oven before being tossed with the sauce and served.)

7. Mix the sriracha with the sweet chili sauce. In a mixing bowl, add the wings and fried garlic slices and drizzle on the sauce while tossing or stirring them to ensure even coating. More or less sauce can be added depending on the heat tolerance of your guests. An extra pinch of homemade roasted Thai chili powder adds an extra hot and smoky kick to the wings.

8. Serve with a garnish of raw and/or pickled seasonal vegetables. 

Note: to make roasted Thai chili powder heat a small skillet over medium low heat. Add whole dried Thai chilies and dry-roast until they change color from red to smoky brown, stirring often. Take care not to burn them. Allow to cool and them grind them to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle or specially designated coffee grinder.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Guest Column: Tastes Like Freedom

Daily Hampshire Gazette Guest Column: 

Tastes Like Freedom


(Published in print: Monday, December 29, 2014)

EASTHAMPTON -- Summer people line up under a leaf canopy on the green.
An al fresco supper awaits them. Sunflowers hold down 40 fluttering
tablecloths and a hula-hoop woman cavorts with a red-headed boy in
face paint. Laughter is heard over an insatiable appetite for heirloom
tomatoes and pedigree peaches.

It's high summer, the kombucha is being poured and everyone is happy
in the city of Greenfield. Last year over 1,000 souls were served at
Free Harvest Supper, an annual event, where food left over from the
harvest is shared with one and all, rich and poor.

It all started years ago when someone whispered something to someone
else at a Saturday morning peace vigil. That somebody was Juanita
Nelson. She was spending Saturday as usual, marching around in front
of the green. Juanita and others carried hand-made signs that read
“End Violence Now!” and “Guns into Plowshares.” Cars and pickup trucks
drove by and honked, sometimes in agreement, sometimes not.

It was August and the Farmers Market was in progress. Farmers with
leftover produce were giving it away in the final half hour of the
market. During a lunch break and while eating a tomato, raw and warm
from the sun, Juanita got an idea. She looked at her friends and said
in a whispery drawl, “There are so many farms around here, why don’t
we just collect all extra harvest and feed everybody?” Juanita’s voice
on the radio is how I first got involved as a volunteer for Free
Harvest Supper. It was about seven years ago. A DJ from WMUA asked
about her politics.

“I don’t get it,” he said. “What does sharing food have to do with the
anti-war movement?”

Juanita replied, “If you know who grows your food, if you depend on
each other for food, you’re not going to fight with them, are you?”

Juanita Nelson knows something about violence. She met Wally Nelson
when he was in jail and on a hunger strike. Juanita was on assignment
for a local paper to interview the man who participated in the first
wave of Freedom Riders protesting segregated transportation in the
south. Juanita’s first act of civil disobedience was to eat lunch in
the whites’ only section of a Washington, D.C., restaurant which got
her arrested and kicked out of college.

She and Wally were perfect for one another. They moved to Woolman Hill
in Deerfield in the 1970s and lived simply growing all their own food.
With a community of like-minded souls, they put up what they grew for
winter consumption.

That community resulted in the formation of the Greenfield Farmers
Market, the Pioneer Valley War Tax Resisters and the Valley Community
Land Trust. Wally lived to be 93 and Juanita, now in her 80s, lives in
Greenfield, inspiring Winter Fare (the first winter market) and Free
Harvest Supper.

Juanita and Wally were onto something with their garden. The hegemony
of processed food with its addictive cycle of salt, sugar and fat has
put the nation into a diabetic coma. Eating is an act of intimacy
second only to sex. Surely you want to know where your partner has
been. Should food be any different?

We have the advantage in the Pioneer Valley of good soil and farmers
who give their lives to the work. Grow your own, buy local and learn
to cook. Not only is real food better for you, it tastes like freedom.

Mary A. Nelen is a writer and photographer who lives in Easthampton.

Friday, December 5, 2014

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Radicchio di Treviso Tradivo Frittata

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Radicchio di Treviso Tradivo Frittata
by Tim Wilcox
Kitchen Garden Farm
Sunderland MA

·       2 heads radicchio, grilled and chopped

·       ½ medium onion, diced

·       3 Tbsp olive oil

·       4 eggs, beaten with salt and pepper

·       ¼ cup plain white breadcrumbs (optional)

·       Balsamic vinegar

Heat the oil in your preferred omelet pan.  Add the onion and sauté gently until golden.  Add the radicchio and toss.  Pour in the eggs (whisked with the breadcrumbs if using) and cook over medium-low heat until the bottom is set.  Find a plate about the size of your pan.  Place the plate snugly over the frittata and invert.  Slip the frittata back into the pan and cook 1 minute longer.  If you don’t want to flip it, finish it under the broiler until set, 1-2 minutes.  Serve either at room temperature cut in small wedges with a smear of goat cheese as hors d’oeuvres, or hot with table cheese and affettate (coppa, prosciutto, salami, mortadella, etc) as a second course.  The diners drizzle with balsamic to their own tastes.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Madeleine Moment with Radicchio Tardivo

Where does it come from, this feeling of complete happiness, complete contentment? 

Another bite and another wave of contentment. The taste, what is it? Now a vision of something, a beach, yes, it’s the beach in summer, South Beach, and gulls, and now a bike, its your bike, there up against the dune, the tire spinning madly. The whole of the summer of 1976 springs to life.

You are transported from your drab existence to your aunt's home on Martha’s Vineyard. Another bite and now you are running through burning sand but your feet are cooled by a wave. You are on your day off from waitressing. You are 19 year of age. Petty grievances have all but vanished. There is no sadness; there are no regrets just the pure sunlight of summer and possibility of what is to come. How did it happen, this transport to another time? What does it signify? It seems to be the frittata you are eating for lunch. You take another bite. What is in this frittata? It is the crimson and ivory radicchio tardivo that you tucked inside it. There's no mistaking it. The flavor is of lobster. But where did it come from this radicchio tardivo? You put down the frittata and search your mind.

You’re there at the farm just before Thanksgiving shopping for local vegetables. You see baskets of leeks, beets, romanesco, bunches of herbs tied up and brussels sprouts on their stalks. In the corner, next to a cooler, is something that beckons to you. It is what you are there for, this basket hiding in the shadows. Three, not one but three bunches of the famous radicchio tardivo are there resting comfortably, like so many heads of state.

The vertiginous crimson and ivory vegetable, too beautiful to be food, is grown with love and erudition by a farmer from Sunderland. Tim Wilcox went to Hampshire and did his Div 3 on radicchio tardivo in the town of its origin. You thank the farmer, his wife and their farm. You thank Pioneer Valley where a person can major in radicchio in college and plant the stuff here in our loamy American soil.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Berkshire Transplant Amy Cotler Offers Butternut Squash Risotto Two Ways

photo by Mary A. Nelen 
Amy Cotler 
wrote "The Farm to School Cookbook" (USDA approved) at a time when harvest home fries made with potatoes from the farm down the street were relatively new to public schools. 

Before that she founded Berkshire Grown, a non-profit supporter of local farm and food. Last year Amy relocated to Northampton from the Berkshires.

"I especially adore the winter farmers market here, Sutter Meats and River Valley Market, where they stock often hard to find local foods like stellar popcorn," she said adding that she is a member of Red Fire Farm CSA and had a small plot last summer at the Florence Community Garden. 

On December 2, 2014, Amy will be teaching "Delectable Winter Soups from Around the Globe," at Different Drummer's Kitchen in Northampton, MA. 

This week's recipe, "Butternut Squash Risotto Two Ways," offers an Asian take and a savory one. If you like some heat with your risotto, or if you still have some dried sage left, you're in luck. 

Butternut Squash Risotto Two Ways

Amy Cotler

Last night I made a warming, not-too-rich risotto with fall crops, butternut squash and leeks. Season with a choice of either light Asian flavors, with a gentle touch of fire to spar with sweet squash, or with cheese and aromatic sage or green peppercorns. I liked it both ways and so did my guests.

1-1/4 cups chopped leeks, whites and tender greens
2 tablespoons sweet butter
2 cups arborio or sushi rice
1/3 dry sherry, l/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cups diced butternut squash (small dice)
about 7-8 cups chicken or vegetable stock, homemade if possible
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Choose one way to season it:

About 1 teaspoon fresh chopped sage or 20 dried green peppercorns
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan or any hard local cheese
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1 teaspoon grated ginger, or to taste
Freshly ground or crushed Szechuan peppercorns (or black pepper), to taste

Wonderful Variation: Along with the leeks, add handful of shiitake or any local mushroom caps, sliced.

1-Cook the leeks in the butter, in a medium pot, over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until transparent but not brown, about 3 minutes.  Add the rice, sherry, vermouth or white wine, garlic and butternut squash. Stir frequently, until all the liquid is evaporated, about 1-2 minutes.

2.  Choose one of the ways to season the risotto.  For the first, add the dried sage or dried peppercorns now. For the second, add the ginger now.

3. Add the broth 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently, until the rice absorbs the broth before each new addition, about 2-3 minutes each. (The risotto should bubble by the edges, but not boil rapidly, so adjust heat as you see fit.)

4. Finish the risotto and adjust as needed. It is done when it is creamy, but the rice is still just a touch firm and the texture is like a thick, creamy stew, about 20 minutes or so. When done, you can add stock as you see fit, as some people like it thicker or thinner.

5. Finish by adjusting the seasonings. Taste: Add extra ginger or sage, if you used them and feel it’s necessary. Stir in the cheese, if you are using it.  Finally, salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately in warm bowls.

For a great last minute turkey time pep talk, see Amy's Thanksgiving Tips  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

New Chef in Town -- Here for the Soil

Sanford d'Amato, owner of Good Stock, Hatfield MA  

“As a chef, I am very excited about the food here...” said Sandy from his teaching kitchen in Hatfield.

Last month WGBY ran a documentary that featured local farmers. In “A
Long Row in Fertile Ground,” several hold forth on the topic of out
topsoil. A farmer from Hadley claims that Valley soil, loamy soil to
be specific, is the best in the world. Another says his fields have
topsoil that is 15’ deep. Geography is the reason for the quality of
the soil. Our Valley is in the middle of what was once Lake Hitchcock,
a result of melting glaciers from the ice age. Over time, the water
receded and left a combination of silt and clay that is very, very
good for growing food.

If you’ve ever put a shovel in the dirt in your backyard, you know
that 15’ of top soil is truly a phenomenon. In the documentary an
outsider appears on the scene. He has been hired to till a potato
field. The outsider tells the farmer he has never seen such soil and
tells her that his tiller cut through it like it was chocolate cake.

Recently, a very accomplished chef and his wife moved here from the
mid-west and put roots down in Hatfield. Sandy and Angie D’Amato
purchased a bungalow and added a wood fired pizza oven with the
requisite chimney and expanded from there. Now their home and cooking
school called the “Good Stock Farm,” features a gracious interior where
classes of up to eight people can gaze out onto the source of the
Valley terrior. It is a gracious learning environment that lends
itself to tasting and deep contemplation of food and wine.

After planting peach trees four years ago just after purchasing the
property they produced over 90 lbs of peaches on two of the trees. Sandy
D’Amato stands next to a large wooden table in the kitchen of the Good
Stock and holds a glinting glass jar of peach jam exclaiming,
“Suncrest!” The tree in question can be seen from the window.

Sandy is a James Beard award-winning chef. He and his wife Angie have
traveled the world teaching and tasting. During harvest season they biked in
Tuscany where they celebrated with Schiacciata (fococcia and local grapes) 
and every spring they travelled to vineyards in northern California to sample 
wines for the two restaurants and bakery they owned in Milwaukee.

Both say they have never had corn like the corn they buy up the road
at the Golonka stand. And that the asparagus is just as epic…..  They
are not strangers to fresh produce, nor are they strangers to the food
scene in the Valley.

“As a chef, I am very excited about the food here,” said Sandy from
his wood and glass kitchen on Main St. in Hatfield. “The asparagus is
different than that of the mid west and as for the peaches, they are
exemplary. The farm starts here and they pick it on the same day.”
They also have a garden in the clearing that runs from their place to
the west side of the Connecticut. They day I visited, the second week
of November, the kale looked very healthy, just like the towering
stalks up and down River Road.

Sandy goes to the pantry in his place to retrieve pickled garlic
scapes, Scandinavian style (cardamom) and raspberries and cherries in
vodka. The peaches and garlic scapes are his, the raspberries from 
Harry, a neighbor, and the cherries are from Clarkdale Farm in Deerfield.

“This entire corridor up and down the river from Clarkdale on down is
brilliant,” said Sandy. “But it isn’t just that, it is also the
excitement of what’s coming next!” he exclaims. “Once you think you
can’t put another spear of asparagus in your mouth, the strawberries
are here.”

Last month Sandy held forth on Cider Glazed Apples with Spicy Cider
Soup and Nutmeg Cream at the Cider Days Festival last month. Upcoming
classes at Good Stock are equally exotic with hands-on dinners
entitled “Scandinavian Christmas,” “Rome” and “Butcher and Pig Meet
Chef” as well as a weekend in February called “2-Day Cassoulet and
Southern France.”

Sandy and Angie met in 1980 at John Byron Restaurant in Milwaukee. He
was the chef and she was a cocktail waitress. Both were from grocer
families. They married and started a restaurant called Sanford, also
in Milwaukee, in 1989 with an SBA loan for a 50-seat fine dining
establishment after bring turned down by 12 banks. A female loan
officer shared their vision. At the restaurant, Angie was in charge of
the wine list and wrote wine notes for the serving staff. They
expanded the operation to a bistro and a bakery. At their busiest they
had 100 employees. It was on a cruise to China and Russia during the
D’Amato’s 25th wedding anniversary that the couple had enough time
away from the stress of running three restaurants for perspective.

It was then that they decided to take it down a notch or two. Now
they’re in the Valley, putting up their fruit, making friends,
teaching the finer points of cooking and living their motto: “Life on
a slow simmer,” but what a simmer it is.

For more information on Good Stock, visit

Monday, November 10, 2014

Kate's Kitchen + Permaculture Feast + foodWorks = OPEN STUDIO

EVENT: Open Studio in Holyoke
WHERE: 386 Dwight Street, Holyoke, MA
WHEN Sunday, November 23, 4 pm to 6 pm 
VISIT: Permaculture FEAST 
Permaculture FEAST is a weekend a permaculture design certificate course held in Holyoke, MA.  
Students from the course have created landscape and social enterprise design for Kate's Kitchen and foodWorks. View their visions for the next 10, 25, 50 and 100 years. 

There will be 4 alternative design schematics and 18 detailed patch designs illustrating how to build on the existing conditions and assets of Kate’s Kitchen and foodWorks, while creating a thriving community hub that meets the needs of its members, while enhancing the overall health and well being of the ecosystem.

Kate’s Kitchen is a community kitchen that was begun in 1980. Since that day, one noon-time meal daily has been served to anyone in need with a “no-questions asked” policy.The Kitchen is opened 365 days a year and provides approximately 150 meals per day. Since its inception, Kate’s Kitchen has provided its neighbors over one million meals.

foodWorks is a culinary training program of Kate's Kitchen that offers unemployed and under employed individuals job training in the culinary field. 

The site also hosts La Finquita, the first community garden started by Nuestras Raices.

Featuring food and music and cutting edge visionaries and designers like yourself!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

INTERVIEW: Marion Nestle, author of "What to Eat" and "Eat, Drink, Vote"

Marion Nestle 

  Last weekend, a small fury of excitement ensued up in the Northeast Kingdom. At Sterling College, author, NYU professor and food activist Marion Nestle held forth on GMO's, the rise of fast food, the Farm Bill and home economics. Visit Marion's blog Food Politics for more information. 

Q. You speak of federal regulation. And you speak of the need for people to learn to cook. Do you think that cooking education can be regulated into the public school system or at least should it be?

A. I learned to cook in 8th grade home economics.  Nobody at the time expected kids to learn cooking anywhere else.  We learned basic skills and produced surprisingly good cookies, meals, and salads, as I recall.   Home economics seems too old fashioned to resuscitate but I know lots of people who think courses in basic life skills—cooking, clothing repairs, household repairs, checkbook balancing--would be much appreciated. 

Q. The statistic that a salad at McDonald's is $5 and for the same money, an individual can get five burgers is an argument for getting young people to learn how to grow their own food. Do you think it would be possible to require all public schools to dedicate at least three parking spaces for a garden for nutritional and educational purposes?

A. All seems extreme, but certainly most.  I’ve been in schools in some of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City that managed to construct gardens.  If the principal thinks it’s needed, somehow gardens happen.

Q. Do you envision reform to the Farm Bill that would make small scale organic farming a reality in our lifetime? 

A. It depends on your life expectancy.  Even in my lifetime, I think improvements in the farm bill will happen, but incrementally until they reach some magical tipping point.

Q. Are GMO's the enemy? I hear from college age students that there are good GMO's out there. Do you agree? 

A. The GMO arguments are so polarized that it’s impossible to say anything good about them without being attacked as sellout.  The industry has brought the polarization on itself by refusing to label its GMO products.  If GMO foods had been labeled from the beginning, it might be possible to discuss pros and cons more thoughtfully.  The industry promised to feed the world and solve third world agricultural problems.  It hasn’t done that and I’m not sure it’s tried—there’s no profit in such problems.  With that said, I can see some value in the Hawaiian papaya bioengineered to resist ringspot virus.  But I’m hard pressed to think of much else that’s useful to the public.  It’s hard to tell because there’s no way to know what’s GMO and what’s not.

Q. Really enjoyed the thoroughness of your presentation with respect to trends in food marketing and sales. Can local food and sustainable eating be marketed as effectively by the government as, for example, the Keep America Beautiful campaign of 1971?

A. It could.  But there needs to be real money behind the campaign.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

In Celebration of National Kale Day!

National Kale Day October 1, 2014

RECIPE: Crispy Nest of Kale with Fried Egg 
Serving: 1
1 bunch curly or dino kale
1 egg 
olive oil
salt and pepper

Remove leaves from the stem with scissors, a knife or have kids do it with their little hands. Roll up each leaf and ‘chiffionade’ the kale (slicing cross-wise) to produce long strips.
Coat the bottom of a cast iron with oil and heat until smoking. Cook in batches by dropping a handful of kale strips into the pan. Add salt and pepper. Keep kale moving over the heat until crisp and fluffy--about 5 minutes.
Remove with tongs and drain on paper bag. Place small bird’s nest of kale strips on each plate and gently top with a fried egg.