Nothing could be simpler, or better for you: curly kale leaves stripped of large stalks, quickly wilted in simmering water, then tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes.

  • Yields: 2 to 3 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: About 15 mins
  • Active: 5 mins

Ingredients (6)

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 bunch curly kale, ribs and stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Finely grated zest of 1/2 a lemon, plus 1 lemon, quartered, for serving
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. In a large skillet, bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and the kale leaves. Simmer, uncovered, turning the leaves with tongs until all are tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the leaves in a colander, quickly pressing out any excess water with the back of a large wooden spoon.
  4. Transfer the kale to a warmed bowl, add the oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes and toss well to coat. Taste and season with additional salt if needed. Serve with the lemon wedges.