Al Brown’s Oven-Roasted Kale with Almond Cream and Dates

By Al Brown

Al Brown’s Oven-Roasted Kale with Almond Cream and Dates
A tasty side full of healthy enhanced flavours.

Kale seems to be the darling of the brassica world at present. It’s a tough old green and, when boiling or steaming, it needs a decent amount of cooking time to render it soft enough to eat. For this relatively simple recipe, I have roasted it so it’s cooked through but crunchy around the edges. The almond cream and chopped dates bring a decent richness to a vege once considered only winter cattle fodder!


Serves 6 as a starter

Almond Cream

½ cup (45 g/1½ oz) blanched whole almonds, lightly toasted

1½ cups roughly chopped baguette, crust removed

1¼ cups (310 ml/10¾ fl oz) milk

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

¼ cup (60 ml/2 fl oz) olive oil

pinch sugar flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


To Cook and Serve

250 g (9 oz) kale

¼ cup (60 ml/2 fl oz) olive oil

flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup (160 g/5½ oz) chopped dates

1 cup (155 g/5½ oz) paprika roasted almonds, roughly chopped

Al Brown & Co Orange and Chilli Infused Olive Oil or good-quality extra-virgin olive oil


To make the almond cream, soak the toasted almonds and bread in the milk for at least a couple of hours, preferably overnight. Place the almond, bread and milk mixture into a food processor or blender. Add the garlic and vinegar, and blitz for a minute or two. Slowly add the olive oil, in a steady stream, until emulsified. Pass the almond cream through a fine sieve and discard any lumps. Season with the sugar, salt and pepper, and refrigerate until required.

Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Rip the kale leaves off the stalks and tear into largish pieces. Discard the stalks. Place the kale in a bowl, add the olive oil and toss, along with some seasoning. Spread out the kale on a roasting tray and place in the oven. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, until the kale is golden brown and crisp around the edges. Remove and let cool slightly.

To plate up, spread some of the almond cream on individual plates or one large platter. Spread the roasted kale over the almond cream. Finish by tossing over the chopped dates, paprika almonds and a good glug or two of olive oil. Eat now.

Recipes and Images from Eat Up New Zealand by Al Brown


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