Several years ago, my husband and I were thumbing through Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home when my husband stopped at this recipe and said, “Let’s try this one.” I looked at it. . . and then I looked at him like he was insane. Pineapple, onions, and kale? And peanut butter? What kind of crazy combination is that?
That was before I learned something that D. already knew: Unusual combinations often make the best dishes. We tried this mixture of peanut butter and pineapple, and it was terrific. And it was the first time I really loved kale.
Since then, this dish has become a favorite, but one we have very seldom. Its higher fat content puts it into the category of “special occasions” for me. I have adapted the recipe to remove the oil in the original, which is really unnecessary for sautéing. And I’ve increased the kale and replaced the cilantro with parsley (because I can’t eat cilantro). But I haven’t been able to reduce the amount of peanut butter and have it taste right. A full half-cup is needed to create enough sauce for the kale. (The original recipe is here, if you’re interested.)
African Pineapple Peanut Stew
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1-2 bunches kale (4-8 cups sliced)
- 2 cups undrained canned crushed pineapple, in juice (20-ounce can)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce (I actually use about 3 tablespoons of a favorite Louisiana hot sauce that isn’t as spicy as Tabasco)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- salt to taste
- crushed skinless peanuts (optional)
- chopped scallions
- Prepare the kale by washing it and removing the large center stem from each leaf. Stack the leaves on a cutting board and slice them into one-inch thick slices.
- In a large, covered wok or Dutch oven (non-stick preferred), sauté the onions for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic, and stir for another minute.
- Add the pineapple and its juice to the onions and bring to a simmer. Stir in the kale, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until just tender. Mix in the peanut butter, Tabasco, and parsley and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste, and serve topped with crushed peanuts and scallions, over rice or other grain. (This makes about 4 servings.)
Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Nutrition (per serving): 330 calories, 143 calories from fat, 17.1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 53.5mg sodium, 881.8mg potassium, 39.5g carbohydrates, 5.6g fiber, 22.3g sugar, 12.5g protein, 10 points.