Thursday, February 9, 2012


Lacinato Kale
Curly (Winterbor) Kale
Red Russian Kale

There are many kinds of kale - Radical Roots Farm grows the three pictured here. You can eat all kale raw, although many people prefer their kale cooked. But raw kale (in salads) is healthy and delicious! The Red Russian is probably the best variety raw (and cooked too!).

There are also many ways to cook kale. Most people discard the larger center stem, although some eat the entire leaf and stem. When kale is young, the center stem is more tender. It toughens as the plants grows larger.

Some people sauté their kale, others like to steam or parboil it. Enjoy experimenting - kale will be available all season long (and into the winter) and it is one of the healthiest greens you can eat.

Kale does not cook down as much as spinach or other greens. One bunch is a good size serving for 2 people.

Simple Sautéed Kale
Rinse kale well in large bowl of warm water; place in colander. Drain.
Trim and discard tough stem ends. Smaller stems can be chopped and cooked (healthy and delicious!) Chop (or rip) kale into bite size pieces.
Add 1 - 2 tablespoon of olive oil to large, heated skillet. Heat oil; add kale. Cook and stir over medium-high heat 5 - 7 minutes until wilted and tender (older leaves may take slightly longer).

  • Add garlic and/or onions (or leeks or scallions) to the oil and sauté lightly before adding kale.
  • Add cooked meat and/or tofu.
  • Add other vegetables (carrot, mushrooms, etc.) to the oil and sauté lightly before adding kale.

Kale with Pan-Fried Walnuts (or any nuts of your choice) 
Ingredients: Kale, Walnuts, Olive Oil, Garlic

Tear kale into large pieces, then cook in a large pot of well-salted boiling water, uncovered, until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain kale, and, when cool enough to handle, press out excess liquid.

Cook walnuts in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add kale and salt and pepper to taste and cook, tossing, until heated through.  Serve kale warm or at room temperature.  

Kale Chips
Preheat oven to 250°F. Remove stem from kale leave and tear into pieces. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange leaves in single layer on 2 large baking sheets. Bake until crisp, but not burnt. Bake time will vary – shake pan every ten minutes – total time should be around 30 minutes. Transfer leaves to rack to cool. You can also season with Parmesan cheese, paprika, or you can toss them before baking with cider or balsamic vinegar and oil.
HINT: Our neighbor Cindy makes kale chips in her microwave –and they come out delicious and bright green!

Sweet Kale Chips
from the Domestic Diva
  • 1 bunch of Kale.
  • 2-6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 good pinches or to taste Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1/4 Brown Sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 4 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Nutmeg- whole is best.

Wash, Dry and cut out large center "rib.” Place kale in large bowl. Add a good drizzle of olive oil 2 (+/-) Tablespoons, several pinches of salt and a couple turns of fresh ground pepper. Toss until lightly coated. Add Brown Sugar, Rice Wine Vinegar. Toss to coat. Place on baking sheet (if baking) or microwave safe platter (if microwaving) in one layer. Drizzle 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup over each tray of kale. Grate 1/16 of a clove nutmeg over the kale. Sprinkle with additional kosher salt. Bake in 300 degree oven until crisp and fragile. Or microwave for approx. 30 minutes in 5 min increments. Break into chips and serve.

(Thanks to Mary Ashcroft for the basis of this recipe, which we recently used on an episode of What's Cooking Rutland, on PEG-TV.)

2 cups cooked rice

1-2 bunches kale, chopped

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
small onion, minced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
½ lb. cheddar cheese, grated
½ stick butter, melted
2 teas Worcestershire
1 teaspoon dried or fresh herbs of your choice (ex. basil, marjoram, thyme)
Salt and Pepper
4 eggs beaten
2/3 cup milk

Lightly sauté onions and garlic in olive oil. Add chopped kale and cook until soft.  Mix with rice and cheese.  Combine other ingredients and stir into mixture.  Bake in a buttered casserole at 350 for 30-40 minutes.  Serves 8.

By Sam SiftonAdapted from Vij’s Restaurant, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Thanks to Sharon Nimtz for sharing this recipe from the New York Times.
  • 3 bunches kale
  • 3 13.5-ounce cans coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. Wash the kale thoroughly and cut out the stalks. Cut the wide leaves into strips the width of the small leaves.

2. In a large pot set over a low flame, heat the coconut milk until it is thoroughly mixed and just lukewarm. Transfer to a large, nonreactive bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir in the kale, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

3. Preheat a grill or a cast-iron grill pan over high heat. Remove the kale from the refrigerator and stir to make sure the leaves are well covered in marinade. Using metal tongs, place the kale on the grill in a single layer. Cook for 45 to 60 seconds, or until the leaves are sizzling, then turn over and grill the other side for another 45 to 60 seconds, or until the leaves have visibly softened. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Kale Waldorf Salad

Makes about 5 servings
  • 3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Dash sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and leaves removed from stem
  • 1 cup red grapes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup chopped apple
  • 2 celery stalks, cut on diagonal
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, pan-toasted
  1. Whisk together the vegan mayo, mustard, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  2. Chop or use your hands to tear kale into small pieces.
  3. Pour dressing over the kale and massage for about 5 minutes.
  4. Toss the rest of ingredients with the kale and let sit for 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
  5. Season more with salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Salad ingredients tend to fall to the bottom of the bowl, so when serving be sure to grab the fruit and nuts from underneath the kale. Salad will be better the next day and will last up to 5 days in the fridge.
Note: Since the size of a bunch of kale varies, you may need more dressing. After massaging the kale, taste a piece to determine if you want to add more.

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