Sylvia's Table by Liz Neumark, our Top Pick in Cookbooks for September, is an exuberant ode to fresh food. Writes Cooking columnist Sybil Pratt, "Neumark wants families not just to eat together, but to cook together and gain a real appreciation of what good food is and where it comes from."

Asian-Style Kale


Here I’ve departed from my everyday olive oil and garlic approach. Kale takes nicely to these bright and warm flavors.

Asian Kale


Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 large bunch (about 8 stalks) kale

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 small shallot, minced

  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves

  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts, minced

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce


Tear the kale leaves from the tough ribs, wash and drain them thoroughly, and chop them coarsely. Discard the ribs. Place the sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat; stir constantly for a minute or two to toast them. sylviastableTake the skillet off the heat as soon as the seeds begin to color because they burn quickly. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat; add the shallot, garlic, scallions, and ginger and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the kale and cook, tossing, for 3 or 4 minutes, until just softened— the leaves should retain some shape.

Remove the pan from the heat and toss the kale with the soy sauce, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Excerpted from Sylvia’s Table by Liz Neumark with Carole Lalli. Copyright © 2013 by Liz Neumark. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Read our review of this book.

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