Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I am afraid of Kale

Blue Scotch Curled Kale - 100 Seeds - BONUS PACK!I admit it. It's stuck somewhere in the back of my head as a food with the possibility of a leathery texture I just can't quite get behind. That is, until it's cooked to death and then it's a food with a taste I can't get behind. Somewhere in between is that fine line where I will eat and enjoy kale. It takes much will power to get it out and prepped, due to the fear that I will turn it into something than no one in my family will eat.

The two places I do like it are in soup, and sautéed with black eyed peas and much garlic. However, that just isn't where my heart or taste buds have been this week. So, dear reader, I promise there will be a kale recipe soon. In the meantime, if you have recommendations on the ways you like kale prepared, please feel free to comment and share. Here are few links to kale recipes that I have used in the past and do enjoy:

Share and enjoy!


  1. We made this recipe:
    with our kale last week and it was really good. I ground some up in the food processor for Madeline and she thinks it is the best thing ever!

  2. We'll give it a shot! The caramelized onions and toasted breadcrumbs with cheese sound like they will balance the dish out nicely. I haven't pulled out the mini chopper for Dina yet, but it sounds like it will be a good sell at our house, too. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Have you tried roasting it? Thoroughly dry the kale and toss with a little olive oil and (if you like) minced garlic. Cook in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are crispy. Sprinkle with coarse salt and serve.

  4. My sister-in-law suggested something similar. I imagine it would bring out the nutty flavor of the kale. I'm a little suspicious of browned greens, though. Maybe the problem is that I've been thinking about cooking it the same as I would any other green, instead of as the heartier veg it is...?

  5. I'm telling you... try the suggestion in the denison farm email from last week about chopping up the kale and mixing it in with rice as it's cooking.

    We mixed it into some long grain wild rice just as the water was boiling, stirred it up and then let the rice cook the rest of the way. It was deliciously nutty and flavorful. Just make sure you chop it up enough so you're not getting long strands of it in the rice.

    Unless you like it that way ;)

  6. Just stumbled across your blog and haven't read far enough to discover whether or not you eat meat. If you do, I have a great kale recipe that a friend gave me. I must admit, I did not grow up eating ANYTHING green (my father had some kind of health food aversion and never cooked anything remotely adventurous or healthy) and kale clearly falls into that category. I also am wary of beans (normally) but this has become one of my all time favorites, and ironically, the kale is my favorite part, so I normally add more than the recipe calls for.
    If you try it, you'll have to let me know what you think!

    3 T olive oil
    4 italian sausages (~ 1 lb; I use turkey)
    1 small fennel bulb chopped
    1 small onion chopped
    5 cloves garlic minced
    2 T chopped sage
    1 bunch Swiss chard stems removed and chopped
    or any green that you like; I use kale
    1/2 c chicken broth
    2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/2 c seasoned bread crumbs
    1/3 c grated parmesan

    Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat an 8 by 10 baking or gratin dish with 1 T oil. In large skillet, over med high, crumble sausages and cook until golden brown. Remove sausage from skillet. Add fennel and onion to skillet and cook until translucent. Add garlic and sage and cook 1 minute more. Add kale, a handful at a time, stirring until slightly wilted. Stir in broth, beans, sausage, and S/P. Spoon the mixture into the dish. In a small bowl, combine the remaining olive oil, bread crumbs, and Parmesan. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

    * for gluten free recipe; skip bread crumbs and grate parmesan on top alone.

  7. It's certainly an idea that takes some getting used to. For what it's worth, it doesn't brown very much, except maybe at the edges. It's more a matter of dehydrating the kale, which turns the texture into something more people find appealing.

  8. @Eva - I have some Red Mill Wild Rice that needs using. I'll give it a shot. I am dubious :oP

    @Michelle - The recipe sounds like a ton of strong, well balanced flavors. I have a bunch of Swiss Chard this week that will hopefully make its way in!

    @Lawrence - I've been trying to put my finger on what it is in the texture that doesn't work for me and how to neutralize it. I'll try the roasting and let you know if reducing the moisture content does the trick.

  9. I'm with Lawrence, but I'd say use a slower oven. This is how Jacques Pepin does it...

    Also known as kale crack.

    But I've always just thought of them as kale chips. Great for munching on. They are tasty and feel incredibly virtuous.

  10. Sugar snap peas are arriving this week. I have a hunch they might work in this recipe. If so, they will beat out kale crack any day of the week, especially with a bit of sea salt. I shall report back.