Spicy Braised Kale


By Spike Gjerde

Published on April 4, 2017

Bittersweet kale mingles with a tangy verjus and spicy pepper flakes in this spring greens recipe. Feel free to substitute other greens like cabbage, collards, or spinach, and adjust cooking times as needed. Store-bought peppadews are a good replacement for the pickled aji dulce, and if you can't find fish pepper flakes, cayenne or Aleppo pepper are easy substitutions. This recipes comes from Chef Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore.

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Featured In: Overwintered Greens Are Some of the Best Produce You’ll Eat All Year


  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced (2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (3 Tbsp.)
  • 12 cup verjus
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 15 pickled aji dulce, sliced (can substitute peppadews)
  • 2 bunches collards, kale or other overwintered greens, stems removed and torn into small pieces (12 cups)
  • 1 tbsp. fish pepper flakes (can substitute Aleppo pepper or cayenne)
  • Salt, to taste


Step 1

In a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook until they start to caramelize, 7-10 minutes. Add the verjus. Using a wooden spoon, scrape any brown bits that might be on the pan. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, aji dulce, and the greens. Cook until the liquid completely evaporates and the greens are tender, 45-50 minutes. Season with salt and fish pepper flakes.

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