My brother-in-law is a self described "fanatical" Jew. The degree to which he keeps kosher can be mind boggling even to the modern Orthodox.
A few weeks ago when we were together for a family vacation, I watched as he soaked his lettuces in salted water to wash them. As someone who loves salt, I think any way to better season a dish is pure genius (Empire Kosher Chicken is an example of a salt-soak improving the flavor).
When I queried him about this practice, he explained that the salt helps release any bugs that may still be trapped in the leaves. Since bugs are not kosher, he does not want to inadvertently eat them in his salad, lest he break the dietary laws.
The aphids have begun to attack the kale in my garden, and the kale is rapidly disintegrating. Ladybugs supposedly feast on these little critters, but I have yet to get some this season (um, John? Do you still want to share an order?)
In the meantime, a salt-soak seems to be the ideal solution until I cure this problem.
And in case you thought I, too, was an observant Jew, I added bacon to this recipe to dispel any confusion. If you do keep kosher (or just don't like pork), turkey bacon, or smoked turkey would be a great substitute.
Kale with Bacon and Cider
1/2 pound kale, washed
1 slice bacon, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp. cider vinegar
salt and pepper
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt. Add kale and cook for three minutes.
2. Drain Kale and cool. Coarsely chop.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, add the bacon. Cook over medium heat until the fat begins to render and the edges start to brown. Add the garlic and continue cooking.
4. When garlic is aromatic, stir in the kale and cook for one minute more. Drizzle vinegar on top.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.