Brassica oleracea var. acephola

A favorite vegetable in Scotland and Ireland, kale is probably best known here in North America as a garnish.  That’s a shame, because kale is very rich in vitamins A and C and the mineral calcium.  B vitamins and other minerals are also present, and kale has the highest content of protein of all cultivated vegetables.  Unlike many leafy green vegetables, it is highly tolerant to cold, which can actually sweeten its taste.  Steamed, sautéed, or added to soups, kale is much more than a garnish!  Kale can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week in either a damp towel or a plastic bag.  The leaves will wilt if allowed to dry.  Kale can also be frozen:  first wash, de-stem, blanch leaves for 2 minutes, rinse with cold water, drain and pack in air tight containers to thaw and enjoy later.


Classic Colcannon
From From Asparagus to Zucchini

4-6 large potatoes
2 tbsp butter
3 cups packed, chopped kale leaves
1 cup chopped onions
1/3-1/2 cup milk, warmed
1-2 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Peel and cut up potatoes.  Boil in salted water until tender.  Meanwhile, melt butter in skillet over medium flame.  Add kale and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are barely soft.  Drain potatoes and mash them with the milk; mix in kale/onion mixture and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Spread in buttered baking dish, bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  This dish is excellent with corned beef and cabbage.  Makes 4-6 servings.


Sonya’s Roasted Kale
This is a great way to get anyone to eat kale…it almost tastes like potato chips!

1 bunch of kale, destemmed (hold the stem with one hand and strip off the leaves with the other) and chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spread a small amount of oil on a cookie sheet, and add the kale in one layer.  Drizzle a bit more oil, add salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven until kale is just slightly browned and crispy, about 15 minutes (I never pay attention to the time, so check frequently!)


Carney’s Kale Cakes
From CSA member Carney Brewer

1 cup flour
1 cup corn meal
2 cups firmly packed kale (I used my blender to chop the kale.  It makes it into very small pieces of leaf which then mix really nicely and form a firm pancake)
2 cups corn (I use frozen and don’t defrost first; it adds a bit of juicyness)
2 cups milk (I like to put it into the blender and swish it around to get the last bits of kale out)
2 eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion
pinch of salt

The recipe calls for mixing the flour and corn meal with the kale and then adding everything else.  I just throw it all together in a bowl and mix…it should be like thick (flour) pancake batter.  The onion is for sauteing and then putting in the mix before cooking.  Fry the cakes in oil; be careful of the spitting!  If the cooking surface is not very, very hot, the first one will take a while to cook through.  Make a slice in the middle to double check; a mouthful of undercooked kale cake batter is disgusting!  The rest will cook quickly, 2-3 minutes a side, but can be quick to burn.  These are definitely things that require watching.

A few things I’ve learned:  More kale is better than less.  The cakes will be very heavy and rather unpleasant to eat if the flour overrides the kale.  This being said, too little flour will cause them to not stay together when you flip them, and you’ll have scrambled corn and kale rather than cakes.  This doesn’t taste any different, of course, but can be frustrating when cooking.  Adding other greens to make up for kale is good and doesn’t change the flavor.  I added fresh dill to a recent batch and it was REALLY nice!  I’ve known others who really like salsa on them.  I’ve also used garlic and scapes, chopping them finely.  The batter freezes well, and the cakes freeze too, but with less satisfactory results when reheated.  The batter will stay in the fridge for a few days.  I have noticed (especially when using commercial kale) that a pool of dirty gross looking water will form on the top of the batter.  I pour this off and add a little milk if the batter is too thick.


Confetti Kale

CSA member Harold McWilliams writes:  “Another kale recipe for you, courtesy of the Kripalu Cookbook. This is from memory but nothing is precise in this recipe. I found this recipe after we received tons of kale from a CSA in Massachusetts a few years ago.”

1. Wash your kale, cut off the stem ends, and chop into half inch wide strips.
2. Dice red pepper, as much as you want to add, proportionally to your kale.
3. Have on hand a bag of frozen corn.
4. Saute several garlic cloves in a generous amount of olive oil.
5. Add the chopped kale and turn it so it all wilts.
6. Add the diced red pepper and cook until reasonably soft.
7. Add the frozen corn. Cover the pan to finish.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve–delicious!

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One Response to KALE

  1. Pingback: CSA pick-up #8 « summitspringsfarm.net

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