Friday, June 18, 2010

Kale and I: A Fragile Peace

I <3 kale.
I have been off on an adventure to the Cooperstown Farmer's Museum. Having mulled in my brain what it means to truly subsist on the land, and to therefore be grateful for what comes out of it, I realize I have been whining more than is proper when it comes to kale. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and antioxidants, as well as rich in calcium. While this makes it too good of a food for me to turn up my nose at, if you ask me, its trying too hard. I'd much rather it stopped showing off and started tasting a little less good for me instead.

While kale is pondering my request, I have gone ahead and made lunch with it. I adapted a recipe from Serious Eats and hoped for the best. However, problems arose when I became over zealous with the kale. The amount in my CSA bundle was more again by half than what the recipe called for. My brain started in with self talk sentences like, "Well, if they were talking a packed two cups, it's only a little bit over," and "If I don't use up this kale this very instance, it will completely go to waste and my mother will somehow know and remind me about the good children starving in Timbuktu who would love to eat some of this kale." Needless to say, it all ended up in the dish.

One phenomenal thing about this recipe was that it was ideal for parenting while cooking. It is full of "occasionally stir" and "caramelize over medium heat" directions. The dish is easy to assemble, the prep fits nicely in with itself, and the results are hearty and filling, while retaining a place in the summer menu via the fresh taste of the greens. It is a meal in itself, but would do well served with good bread and a salad on the side. I don't think I'd do a green salad with it, but a carrot or fennel salad would be a perfect addition. 

So, the moral of the story is that kale and I have achieved a truce. Though the discovery of its relation to broccoli may make me chuckle, I am sure we shall grow to appreciate each other in time. Until that day, I shall refrain from replying, "It has kale in it," when asked how a dish tastes and shall work toward the goal of making peace between Dave and Swiss Chard.

Potato and Kale Frittata
Adapted from Serious Eats who adapted it from Eggs on Sunday

4 T olive oil 
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced to 3/4 inch
1 large onion, diced
1 bunch kale, torn from stems into pieces (about 2-3 cups total, depending on how much you like kale)
2 T chopped parsley
6 eggs, beaten
splash of milk
salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated swiss cheese

1. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add potatoes and onions. Turning occasionally, allow to cook until potatoes are softened and onions are caramelize, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add kale to pan. Combine gently, and allow to cook until kale is softened and bright green, about 4-5 minutes. 

2. Meanwhile, grate cheese and chop parsley. Beat eggs and milk together. Preheat the broiler.

3. When kale has completed cooking, turn off heat and season with salt and pepper. Return to heat and pour egg mixture into pan. Even out the top and sprinkle the cheese over it. When mixture is cooked around edges, but still runny in the middle, place under the broiler for several minutes until the top is puffy and browned. Share and enjoy.


  1. Kale is also good on pizza.

  2. No. Way.

    White or red? I could see white with a good amount of garlic. Maybe pine nuts, too?

  3. Thank you for sending this recipe over to Weekend Herb Blogging this week. I can always use another great kale recipe. Look for the roundup later today.

  4. White. And yes to the garlic. Usually I infuse the olive oil with garlic for an hour or so before putting it on the pizza. But kale and chard are prolly my fam's favorite veggies, overall, so we should talk greens sometime. :)

  5. That's wonderful! Thank you so much :)

  6. @Dani, I love using the greens in your lentil soup recipe, but it was simply NOT soup weather this week with our 95 degree heat sans air conditioning. If you have any recommendations for getting preschoolers to eat chard and kale, though, I'd love to pick your brain.

  7. Our standard use for the kale, chard, etc we get with our CSA is a modified "greens and beans" - I never take responsibility for the dish, but the basics are garlic (sometimes scapes) onion, chicken stock and a nice slow simmer for the greens. Then add white beans, fresh tomato if you have it and a squeeze of lemon. The lemon makes all the difference. I like to top with a healthy dose of feta. I know, not traditional, but yummy and the kale just plays a supporting role.

  8. I've been using more lemons in my cooking lately (due to a full bag bought at BJs when only 2 were needed) and they've been making an incredible difference in my cooking.

    The salty cream of the feta sounds like the perfect balance. Thanks for sharing!

  9. This is certainly a very nice use of kale. Our favorite is Green barley and kale gratin
    from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, a recipe that uses quite a bit of kale.