Cider-Braised Kale Recipe with Apples and Cherries

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Celebrating the autumn equinox, this Cider-Braised Kale Recipe features seasonal apples and cherries.
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"The Nourished Kitchen" from Jennifer McGruther looks at the diets and harvesting methods of indigenous peoples, and asks readers to reconsider tried and true techniques.
4-6 Servings SERVINGS


  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
    1 small red onion, thinly sliced
    1 apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
    2 bunches Lacinato kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
    1 cup dried sweet cherries
    1/4 cup hard cider
    1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


  • Melt the bacon fat in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Toss the red onion into the hot fat and fry until fragrant and softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the apple and fry until tender enough to pierce with a fork, about 4 minutes. Toss in the kale and cook until barely wilted. It should take only a minute.  Stir the cherries and hard cider into the wilted kale and apple and simmer until the liquid is mostly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the apple cider vinegar and serve. Reprinted with permission from The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle by Jennifer McGruther and published by Ten Speed Press, 2014. Buy this book from our store: The Nourished Kitchen.

The Nourished Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2014) encourages the preparation of wholesome, nourishing foods, as well as a mindful approach to cooking and old-world culinary traditions. Jennifer McGruther guides readers through a traditional foods kitchen and offers more than 160 recipes inspired by the seasons and land that affect us all. This Cider-Braised Kale Recipe With Apples and Cherries is from the chapter “From the Garden,” and is a celebration of the changing of seasons from summer to autumn.

You can purchase this book from the GRIT store: The Nourished Kitchen.

The Nourished Kitchen Recipes:

Baked Salmon Recipe With Heavy Cream
Cider-Brined Slow-Roasted Chicken Recipe

Cider-Braised Kale Recipe with Apples and Cherries

Each year, at the autumn equinox, I serve this dish at our community’s annual harvest festival. It’s a magical time when throngs of masked mummers line the streets, reveling in song and drink before congregating at the town’s center and lighting a bonfire that reaches so wildly high its embers cannot be distinguished from the stars.

The dish itself is a celebration of the equinox, a time when the long days of summer wane into the growing darkness of autumn. It combines a remnant of summer—dried sweet cherries—with the bounty of autumn’s apples, greens, and onions. If you don’t have any hard cider, substitute sweet cider.