For reasons that I cannot imagine, kale somehow became hip in the past few years. Kale, the least appetising-looking, toughest, most indestructible vegetable known to man. I’m sure it was announced somewhere to be full of antioxidants, and suddenly, as these things go, tonnes of people started eating it. Mostly across the Atlantic, at first, although the UK has caught on, and I think you can probably get air-fried kale crisps at your local Tesco now.
The thing is, though, the Dutch have been eating kale for ages. Not in the health-aware, diet kind of way – in the stamppot way. In fact, if you say ‘kale’ in Dutch (‘boerenkool‘, actually), it usually refers to the dish (boerenkoolstamppot), rather than the actual crop. It’s not necessarily a cool dish, but it’s a beloved classic, anyway. It spans generations – it’s one of those rare dishes that’ll please both your grandparents and your children.
The first time I heard about people eating kale outside the context of stamppot, it kind of blew my mind. As said, to me boerenkool really just meant boerenkoolstamppot – it just never crossed my mind that you could choose not chop it to bits and to mix it up with mashed potatoes. A friend of mine recently made a kale quiche, and said it was good, so I thought it would be interesting to have a shot. Still, I’m trying to get used to the idea, so I didn’t want to exaggerate – the goat’s cheese he’d used was still too big a step for me. In my opinion, kale has to be paired with pork – bacon and smoked sausage in the stamppot, but I figured spicy sausage would do for the quiche. So that’s what we’re doing this week, kale and spicy sausage quiche!
For one 23 cm Ø quiche, use:
- 400 gr of kale, chopped finely
- 1 red onion
- 250 gr spicy pork sausage, or, if you don’t live in a country where they sell that, normal sausage that you’ve spiced up with cayenne pepper and paprika
- 5 eggs
- 100 ml crème fraîche
- one pack of puff pastry
If you managed to get some spicy sausage, squeeze it out of the casing in small little balls and that’s it. If you got normal sausage (as I did, because while in Italy I used this stuff for everything, in The Hague there is no such thing as ‘spicy sausage’), squeeze it all out into a bowl, then add something like half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper (but let the quantity depend on your taste, of course) and a good dash of paprika. Mix it up well, then press it down into a slab and cut that slab up into small bits.
Chop your onion and fry it in some oil. After a couple of minutes, add the sausage and wait for it to brown. Then remove it from the pan, throw it back into that bowl you used earlier, and throw the kale into the pan. Salt it. Wait for it to shrink down to about half the size of what you started with.
In the meantime, grease a springform tin and line it with puff pastry. When the kale is done, mix in the sausage meat and and onion. Now, in a separate bowl, mix the crème fraîche with the eggs, add salt and pepper, then add this to the kale mixture. Mix well, and put it in the springform tin. Decorate the top with some leftover strips of puff pastry, shove it in a preheated oven (220 degrees) for a generous half hour and you’re done!