A few months ago, Ben and I had an excellent date night that centered around a Jim Gaffigan comedy show.  We have wanted to see him live for years and I was ecstatic when I realized he had a show in our area.  I am fairly certain I have never, ever laughed as hard as I did that night for such an extended period of time, i.e. the entire time he was on stage.  Though I’m pretty sure he could talk about practically anything and leave me doubled over with laughter, this particular show was right on target.  He talked about food about 85% of the time (and his kids/family for the other 15%).

Of course he finished out with his infamous Hot Pocket bit, but in the list of his many food-related topics, he also had a full fledged arsenal of jokes about kale.  For example, how no one really, legitimately likes kale and something about how it tastes like spinach with dirt and hair on it.  Though I don’t particularly agree with him on these points, I have definitely met some people who could sympathize. If you are one who might agree with Jim where kale is concerned, I give to you this recipe for consideration.  The kale is cooked low and slow so the greens are tender.  Combined with some nearly caramelized onions, garlic and a dotting of creamy ricotta, this is an omelet filling that is a bit out of the ordinary but so very good.  And though I sometimes find that omelets, especially in restaurants, can be a very heavy food, these were on the lighter side.  Still filling, to be sure, but not crash-on-the-couch-and-take-a-nap filling.  This is a lovely breakfast option for this time of year when the markets aren’t exactly bursting with a wide variety of seasonal produce.

  • Yield 4 servings


1 lb. kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more as needed
1½ tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
½ tsp. roasted red pepper flakes
1 cup sliced yellow onion
½ tsp. sea salt
2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Unsalted butter
8 large eggs
4 tbsp. milk, divided
Ricotta (about ½ cup)*


  • 01

    Place the chopped or torn kale in a large pot and cover with water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Once the water reaches a boil, let cook 30 seconds just to blanch the kale, then drain and set aside.  When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess water.

  • 02

    In a large skillet, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the thyme and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the onion and salt and cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in the garlic slices.  Cook for about 8 minutes, or until the onions are softened and beginning to brown.

  • 03

    Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in the drained kale (and a bit of additional olive oil, if needed).  Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender and charred in some places, about 20-30 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • 04

    Heat a 10-inch pan over medium heat.  Coat the pan lightly with a bit of butter.  For each omelet, whisk together 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon of the milk in a small bowl.  Add the mixture to the pan and let cook until set on the bottom and the edges lift away easily with a spatula.  Once the top is nearly set, sprinkle a quarter of the kale and onion mixture down the center of the omelet.  Top with a bit of the ricotta.  Fold the two sides inward to cover the fillings and slide onto a plate to serve.  Repeat with the remaining omelets.

  • 05

    *The ricotta is highlighted in this dish and therefore it is recommended to use really good, fresh ricotta.  What better way than to make your own?  If you have never tried making ricotta before, give it a try and see just how easy and delicious it can be!