While sautéing your kale will reduce the bitter flavor, you can also help take the edge off your greens by adding a bit of sweetener. Honey, maple syrup, agave, and even a pinch of brown sugar are all excellent ingredients to add sweetness to your dish.
Honey and maple syrup are easy additions that will caramelize around your leafy greens as they wilt in the pan. Balsamic vinegar is also a fantastic, if not surprising, way to add some sugar to your kale dish; unlike other varieties, which are made from aged wines and are very acidic, it is made directly from the grape, including the skin, flesh, and seeds. It produces a unique sweetness when it is aged and then cooked down. The tangy zing and fruity body of the balsamic will elevate your vegetable by adding additional dimension.
When adding sweeteners to your dish, be sure to taste test. The flavor of the kale will continue to get milder the longer it cooks, so if you’re just trying to offset the bitterness, a little sugar will go a long way.