Recipe Test: A16’s Kale with Anchovy Soffritto

Bored with simply sautéing my kale, I decided to try a recipe for braised lacinato kale with tomato and anchovy soffritto from A16: Food + Wine. As I’m never one to follow a recipe exactly (they’re just guidelines, right?), let it be known that I used only about half the called-for amount of kale and substituted the salt-packed anchovies with olive-oil-packed. The volume of the recipe-mandated two pounds of kale is enormous, even a little intimidating, and since I was only making this dish for myself (the recipe serves six), I decided to spare myself from eating leftover kale for the next two weeks and cut the amount. As such, my version of the recipe came out “saucier” than intended, but I can live with that. The anchovy swap was born from necessity: The resources section of the book lists them as being sold at A.G. Ferrari, an Italian imports grocer, but the location closest to CHOW HQ did not stock them, and neither did my local specialty market.

The recipe itself is straightforward enough, though I discovered the hard way that the soffritto needs to be stirred more often than every 10 minutes. The resulting dish isn’t much to look at, but it’s hearty and pleasantly salty, with just a hint of acidic sweetness. However, be warned that it doesn’t last long in the fridge: Mine turned to mush in two days.