Wednesday, September 28, 2011

10+ Things to Do With Kale

As far as leafy greens go, I'm most familiar with Romaine, red leaf, and spinach. It's a pretty limited repertoire of a pretty vital element of nutrition. Swiss chard, kale, mustard greens, beet tops, radish leaves, the whole range of lettuces, and any other green leafy vegetable are either completely foreign or mostly unfamiliar to me.

But I'm really trying to remedy that.

So I browsed a list of green leafies and resolved to pick up some kale. It sounded more appetizing than beet tops. After I stared at it in the fridge for a few days, I realized at some point I was going to have to do something with it, other than compost or chicken feed.

But WHAT??

Below is a list of ideas for kale that will hopefully introduce you to the wild and wacky wonderful world of kale if you are (like me) uninitiated. I've now made several of these and can vouch for the fact that they're delicious.

I'm a kale fan of epic proportions now. I mean, it's not chocolate hazlenut crêpe cake, but as far as leafy green vegetables go it's really tasty and adds bulk and nutrition to a lot of things I make anyway.

It will make its way into my garden next year.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Scampi with Kale and Polenta -- I just made classic southern shrimp and grits with kale -- really good!
Lemony Kale and Quinoa with Poached Egg -- I haven't tried the Quinoa element yet... that's the next foreign food to tackle -- just lemony kale with fried egg and it was great
Poached Eggs and Kale on Toast -- an easy way to incorporate greens into breakfast
Sausage, Kale and Pepper Quiche -- I didn't do this in a crust, just as scrambled eggs and it was tasty
Also: added to an kind of egg

Italian Wedding Soup -- this will be on our rotation regularly this Winter -- SO good
Spicy Kale Lasagna -- holy yum!! a not-so-penitential meatless Friday meal
Irish Colcannon with Kale -- I like my baked potato mashed potatoes better for the potato element of this recipe, but the idea is to add kale to them which is a wonderful addition
Raw Kale Salad -- okay, I haven't been brave enough to go this au natural yet
Also: added to any soup, beans, pasta, or rice dish


Baked Kale Chips -- it took 3 attempts to finally get this down, but they're really tasty when you perfect it. Overbaking is really easy to do (gah!), but when done right they're crispy salty and earthy crunchy good
Roasted Kale -- another kale chip recipe, but on top of roasted potatoes -- a great combination
Kale and Gorgonzola Swirls -- tres chic appetizer right here, y'all

What's your favorite way to eat kale?


Tori Greene said...

I've also become rather fond of kale recently. My favorite recipe is Zuppa Toscana. I got the recipe from my sister-in-law, but there are many online as well. I tend to throw the kale into other soups too if it seems like they need some greens. I've been afraid to try the kale chips...but I'll have to give it a go.

Nadja said...

Oh thank you thank you thank you for this!  I, too, am a newcomer to the delights of kale, and it now ranks among my favorite greens!   But other than tossing it in soups or roasting it with olive oil and sea salt, I haven't really known what to do with it.  So again, I thank you!

Farmer's City Wife said...

Yuuuum. The kale chips were pretty addictive. They're not potato chips, no matter how hard people try to say they're just like 'em. The only similarity is salty crunchiness :)... but despite that, all three trays of them were consumed in two days so they were a hit.

Farmer's City Wife said...

You're most welcome, Nadja! I made a Portuguese soup with kale and chorizo, but it was pretty gross so it didn't make it on the list -- but the part I liked about the soup was the kale! So yes, I agree that kale is REALLY good in soup :).

Rachel said...

favorite recipe so far for Kale (although I just started eating the stuff myself!)

Also, Kale Slaw (like cole slaw, except with kale instead of cabbage!) is also very tasty.... just shredded kale, some carrot shreds, and a little mayo and voila! 

Elia G said...

I actually tried Kale in a soup a few weeks back and loved it! I
realized it's not just garnish! FYI My mother in law makes these AMAZING
Swiss chard patties  that are out of this world!! That is another green that left me in awe :)

cathy_leblanc said...

I'm glad you shared this!  My husband picked up some plants at the feed store a few weekends ago to go in our fall garden, and he accidentally grabbed 3 kale plants.  I think he thought they were something else....oops! ;)  Except, it said on the label that they are flowering kale, and non-edible...what is that?!  I tasted it anyway, and it tasted kind of like broccoli.  Do you think we could use it anyway???

Sarah LaVigne said...

Thank you for all the great ideas! I've tried kale chips before, but so far have mostly just stirred it into soups. 

Don't be afraid of quinoa, either. The trick is to soak it for a good 20-30 minutes before simmering, then it isn't too tough. 

Susan said...

When you get brave and make the raw kale salad, be sure to "masticate" (with your hands not your teeth!)the kale to break it down a little bit. Raw kale is delicious and has more Vitamin C than its cousin, Spinach (not sure if they are really cousins, but it sounds good). I have a fabulous raw kale salad and the dressing uses almond butter - oh my mouth waters just thinking about this yum salad!

Farmer's City Wife said...

Oh yum!! That recipe looks tasty :).
How can I be craving kale slaw right now when I've never even had it? You've got mad skillz :-D.

Farmer's City Wife said...

Elia, Elia, Elia. You CANNOT just tell me that something is AMAZING and out of this world without sharing the recipe!! :-D

Farmer's City Wife said...

As far as my limited research shows, you can indeed eat ornamental kale although it is bred for its looks and not its taste, so sometimes it doesn't taste as good as its non-ornamental cousin :). But it should work okay for any of these recipes! :)

Farmer's City Wife said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Sarah. That's excellent to know about the soaking -- I'm armed with a little bag of the stuff and will give it a go sometime soon :).

Farmer's City Wife said...

Oh oh oh, good to know, Susan! I've seen "massaged kale salads" before and wondered why in the world I'd massage my kale, hehe. That makes sense.
Recipe for your dressing, please!! Don't hold out on us ;) :-D.

Susan said...

Bon Appetit!

Farmer's City Wife said...

Oh wow that looks great! I can't wait to try it, soon! Thank you, Susan.

Jenna St. Hilaire said...

Kale makes a great cabbage substitute. I haven't tried it with corned beef, but it stir fries beautifully and tastes fabulous in egg rolls. I've also chopped it up and used it on veggie pizza with mushrooms, olives and garlic.

It's new to me this year, too, thanks to having inherited a few plants in my garden. I don't intend to miss a year with it in the future. Better than spinach, far better than chard in my opinion. Beet greens are OK, by the way, if you stick to the little tender ones... they're mild and rather like baby spinach. :)

Farmer's City Wife said...

Really? That's very good to now. I'm wondering now if my favorite cabbage rolls would work with kale? It's way easier to work with than cabbage :).

Pam Elmore said...

I have a ton of rainbow chard -- I think I'm going to try the colcannon and the shrimp-n-grits ideas. Thanks!

Farmer's City Wife said...

I've never eaten Swiss Chard and I feel deprived :). Rainbow chard looks SO pretty, so I might have to plant it next year for its aesthetic and then take a bite.
Lemme know how it goes!

ConservamomE said...

This is the closest "recipe" I could find to what she does.,1750,153162-253195,00.html   She doesn't put in bread crumbs and does add minced garlic to the egg,swiss chard and cheese mixture. :) It's soo yummy!

Farmer's City Wife said...

Goodness, so simple but so good looking! Will put this on our menu plan soon :). Thank you!

ConservamomE said...

They are so good..even cold :) Let me know when you try it! 

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