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Blitzed kale with lemon and garlic

Based on a recipe from my friend April Bloomfield, a British chef based in New York, this is a wonderful way to eat kale. In fact, you can eat a lot of kale, with a lot of pleasure, when it’s prepared this way! I love it alongside spud-based dishes such as roast potatoes and grapes with bay and star anise.

Servings 4


3 large garlic cloves, peeled

400g curly kale, Red Russian or cavolo nero

Up to 75ml extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra to serve

Sea salt and black pepper

To finish

Finely grated lemon zest

A little flaky sea salt


Put the whole garlic cloves and a good pinch of salt in a large saucepan or small stockpot (big enough to hold all the kale). Add plenty of cold water and bring to the boil.

Meanwhile, prepare the kale by tearing the leaves away from the tough stalks (discard these) and tearing the leaves into large pieces.

When the water is boiling briskly, add the kale, pressing it down into the boiling water with a spatula. Let it simmer for 5–10 minutes until nice and tender but not too soft. (Cavolo nero will probably cook more quickly than the slightly more robust curly and Red Russian kales.)

Tip the kale and now soft garlic cloves into a large colander. Leave to drain for a couple of minutes, then use tongs to squeeze out a little more water from the leaves (there’s no need to be too rigorous about this – a little moisture in the kale is ok).

Transfer the kale and garlic to a food processor. Add salt and pepper and start processing, stopping to push down the leaves as necessary. When the kale is roughly chopped, start pouring in the olive oil, stopping when you have a dark, dense, coarse purée (you may not need all the oil).

Heap the kale mixture into a warmed serving dish or individual bowls, trickle with a little more extra virgin oil, sprinkle with some lemon zest, a few flakes of sea salt and a grinding of black pepper, and serve.