Russian Red Kale with Cranberries and Red Onion

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

Succulent kale leaves sweetened with dried cranberries are a pleasing Old and New World cross. Unfortunately, the promise of “red” is deceptive, for the color greens in cooking. But the pinky punctuation of vinegared red onion and the berries brighten the whole. The rugged kale can play a role in an all-vegetable meal, or accompany grilled sausages, pork, or turkey— smoked or not.


  • ½ pounds Russian Red kale
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar


    1. Strip kale: Hold a kale stalk in one hand, stem base upward, and grasp the wider lower leaf base with the other hand. Pull stem slowly downward to remove it completely. Turn stem in the opposite direction. With your free hand, using a downward motion, strip off remaining leaves. Rinse leaf pieces.
    2. Boil water in very wide sauté pan. Add salt, then kale, prodding until it wilts sufficiently to sink into water. Cover and boil 5 minutes. Add cranberries, recover, and simmer until kale is tender, a few minutes more. Drain (reserve liquid to make soup or polenta).
    3. Dry pan. Set over moderately high heat; add 1 tablespoon oil. Add onions and sauté until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add vinegar and toss to evaporate completely. Transfer to a dish.
    4. Return pan to high heat; add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add drained kale and cranberries and toss a minute or two to heat through. Add onions and toss to mix. Serve hot or at room temperature.