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What the Kale should I do?


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There is a similar thread from a while back on Swiss chard that has some interesting and applicable ideas, like this:

Remove leaves from stem.

Cut stems into equal lengths, season, EVOO and balsmico, roast for twenty minutes at 350 in a convection oven. Add lardons if you have them.

Blanch and shock leaves, saute with much butter, finish with cream.

Or mince and add to a soup made with mire poix, chicken stock, white wine, chorizo.

Or...

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Dinosaur or lacinato kale has very dark green leaves, similar in color to Swiss chard or even darker.

This is Italy's cavalo nero (black cabbage), indispensable in ribollito and the favorite vegetable of Tuscans. I usually chop (chiffonade) and add to some onion already cooking on olive oil...cover, add a bit of water if needed, and cook about 20 minutes. Good as is, or top bruschetta with some beans and a little of the cooked cavalo nero.

Pork, particularly sausage, and kale are made for each other.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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The Portuguese use it in a version with potatoes, chorizo, etc.

Inspired by this, had for dinner (among other things):

i4014.jpg

No doubt it isn't the traditional preparation. But it does contain kale, potato and Spanish chorizo.

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One of the nice things about kale that I don't like about other greens (and I eat either spinach or collards or kale or chard or mustards or turnips or carrots or beets nearly every day) is that it takes a little sweetness.

Therefore: fry lardons, add onion, then add cut up kale, fry for a little bit, add a cube of stock and a LITTLE bit of molasses (balsamic vinegar also provides a sweetness with some acidity as well), braise for about 10-15 minutes.

I love kale. We eat it all the time--and I buy the purple or white ornamental varieties just as much as the regular kinds.

Q: I heard a couple years ago that Pizza Hut was the largest consumer of kale in the US--they use it for decoration on their salad bars. But I haven't seen any actual citations, just people saying that. True? Or urban legend? That seems like a huge waste.

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I saw Emeril do a Caldo Verde on an old Foodtv show and it turned me into a total convert. Very simple to do. The recipe used to be on the website, but now there are several different ones. I thought I'd post this because the seasoned oil you make at the start is a nice touch.

Caldo Verde

In a large pot heat:

2-3 Tbsp of good quality olive oil

2 whole cloves of garlic

2 bay leaves, broken in half

a good pinch of hot red pepper flakes

Let sizzle in the oil a bit and add:

1-1/2 cups chopped onion

Stir for a few minutes until tranclucent but not browned. Add:

6 small to medium potatoes, peeled and diced

9 cups water (I use part chicken stock)

2 to 3 tsp minced garlic (optional, if you like it garlicky)

Cover and simmer until potatoes are very tender and whisk or mash a bit to help them fall apart. Add:

1 large bunch of kale leaves, removed from stem and sliced into ribbons (or shredded finely). Simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile in a skillet, saute:

2 or 3 links of Spanish (not Mexican) style chorizo or other smoked sausage

Add to pot and simmer 5 more minutes. Serve.

Note: sometimes beans (red, white, chick peas) are added.

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I love the white bean and kale soups myself, but, if you're in the mood for a different soup we enjoy this also:

Kale, Lentil, and Sausage Soup

Remove stems and tough veins from the kale. (I just pull both sides of the leaves away from the central stringy vein) then chiffonade (one smallish bunch will do for this, or more as you like).

Brown 1/2 lb thinly sliced smoked sausage, or saute thin julienne cut ham (either are very good). Remove, drain, keeping about a tsp of the drippings to cook 3 garlic gloves, minced, and one thinly sliced onion until soft and lightly golden. Remove garlic and onion. Toss in the kale, stir until wilted, adding a tsp of olive oil while cooking. Reserve kale.

Return garlic and onions to soup pot. Add 3/4 cup dry lentils, 2 cups stock, 2 cups water, crushed red chillies to taste, and the ham or sausage. Cook covered about 40-45 minutes. Return the kale to soup; cook uncovered another 10 minutes. Salt to taste and splash in 2-3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Q: I heard a couple years ago that Pizza Hut was the largest consumer of kale in the US--they use it for decoration on their salad bars. But I haven't seen any actual citations, just people saying that. True? Or urban legend? That seems like a huge waste.

Found the following quote from this website. Don't know if the attribution applies to the Pizza Hut factoid, or just the nutritional info.

In this country Kale has not achieved this widespread appeal. The largest consumer of kale is Pizza Hut, but not for eating! It is used only to decorate their salad bar! Nutritionally, kale is vastly superior to most vegetables. It is rich in vitamin A, C, and the mineral calcium. It is also an excellent supplier of vitamin B and other minerals. It surprised me to learn that among all the cultivated vegetables, Kale boasts the highest protein content. It has a distinct, but not overpowering flavor and is interchangeable with broccoli and other hearty greens in recipes. (Excerpted from "From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Farm-Fresh, Seasonal Produce.")

Honestly, I don't know how anyone could know for sure, unless there's a kale producers'/marketers' association.

amanda

Googlista

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I saw Emeril do a Caldo Verde on an old Foodtv show and it turned me into a total convert.  Very simple to do.  The recipe used to be on the website, but now there are several different ones.  I thought I'd post this because the seasoned oil you make at the start is a nice touch.

nutcakes -- thanks for posting the recipe. It's getting almost time to plant the vegetable garden here, and I had some Tuscan Kale wintering over (it even survived the January snow storm). So to make room for the new planting, I picked it all, a huge pan of small, delicate kale leaves and made the recipe last night. I varied the amounts a little and added some soy sauce to season. It was delicious!

Check out our Fooddoings and more at A View from Eastmoreland
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Thanks again everyone. I made a version of Caldo Verde Friday and another is on the stove now. Delicious! I very much like the taste and texture of the Kale. Leftovers are even more flavorful, but the Kale losses it's slight chewiness -- an extra handful of fresh Kale in the leftovers might work. Next will be the gratin I first considered.

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I do love kale in soups, but I love it even better when it is sauteed at very high heat just long enough to wilt it down, in olive oil, garlic & red pepper flakes. Squeeze in liime at the end. Chris Schlesinger has the recipe in Thrill of the Grill. I am not fond of the parboil first approach - I find the results soft and characterless.

At least weekly we have been having some sort of greens and pasta dish, because our Boston Organics produce delivery has chard or spinach or kale every week.

Here is a fabuous pasta dish, adapted from a Gourmet recipe.

Greens & Bacon with Pasta

5 bacon slices (1/4 lb), chopped

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

1 tablespoons olive oil

bunch chard, kale or spinach, chopped coarse

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 lb dried linguine

1/2 lb grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings

Cook bacon in a big, heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, then drain on paper towels. Pour off all but few tablespoons bacon fat from pot. Add pine nuts to pot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden. Transfer nuts with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Add shallots to pot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add oil and half of greens and cook, stirring, until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Add remaining greens and salt and continue to cook, stirring, until greens are crisp-tender,

about 2 minutes more. Add some of the pasta water (1/2 c or so) and cover pot, then simmer greens, stirring occasionally, until just tender to your taste. If it's ready before the pasta you can turn it off and let it wait, covered.

Add drained pasta and tomatoes to pot with greens and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in salt, pepper, bacon, pine nuts, and cheese shavings.

Makes 2 to 3 main-course servings.

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  • 4 years later...

Bump!

I have a ton of Tuscan Black Kale in my garden and we now get frost every night. It won't take long before all the plant finally die.

We love bean and kale soup, kale and bacon as well as kale and pasta.

What else can be done with sich a nice but tough vegetable? Is freezing the best way to preserve it?

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My all-time favorite kale recipe -- I can hardly bring myself to make it any other way since I love this so much.

Blanch kale in boiling water, then roughly chop.

Saute lots of garlic in good olive oil. Add kale, a handful of raisins, a handful of toasted walnuts, lots of fresh pepper and some kosher salt, and let Kale soften and absorb some of the oil and garlic flavors. Finish with crumbled feta, and its heaven!

Emily

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My all-time favorite kale recipe -- I can hardly bring myself to make it any other way since I love this so much.

Blanch kale in boiling water, then roughly chop.

Saute lots of garlic in good olive oil. Add kale, a handful of raisins, a handful of toasted walnuts, lots of fresh pepper and some kosher salt, and let Kale soften and absorb some of the oil and garlic flavors. Finish with crumbled feta, and its heaven!

Emily

This sounds wonderful. I'm not a fan of raisins though, wonder how dried cranberries would be? I'm going to try this.

I've often subtituted Kale for Escarole when I make this soup, so easy and so delicious.

http://efoodie.typepad.com/efoodie/2005/03...ole_soup_w.html

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chopped dried peaches or apricots would also work well.

We made Kale Pie recently. Filling was sauteed kale w/ garlic & onions, layered with sliced pears, brie, pecans (I used sunflower seeds) and raisins (again, you could use some other fruit). The original recipe specifies cambozola. Since we were making 100 servings, I opted for pre-made flaky pie crust rounds, but you could make your own buttery flaky pastry.

Karen Dar Woon

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Bump!

I have a ton of Tuscan Black Kale in my garden and we now get frost every night. It won't take long before all the plant finally die.

We love bean and kale soup, kale and bacon as well as kale and pasta.

What else can be done with sich a nice but tough vegetable? Is freezing the best way to preserve it?

It can be dried:Cut into coarse strips, Blanch spinach or chard about 5 min, Kale about 20 min, spread on drying trays no more than 1/2" thick. That might be useful to try.

It can be canned much like spinach.

The chard thread above says to freeze it like spinach. One of my books says that only the tender leaves from the center are to be frozen,I might cook a few of the outer and make up my own mind about toughness . I would just blanch [2-3 minutes, stir to prevent matting], cool and freeze.

It as a cabbage does well in Seattle gardens as a winter crop as do beets [chard].

Robert

Seattle

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Strip the Kale ( always best when first frost has hit it, becomes a bit sweet, eliminating some bitterness) of all stems and veins, cut into 2inch squares, blanch for only 3 minutes in salted boiling water.

New pot, render goose, duck or smoky pork fat, add slivered onions, do not brown.

Add Kale, and add a slab of strongly flavored smoked bacon, smoked Kielbasa, or maybe a smoked pork shank, a couple of bayleaves, careful of salt as the smoked meats are usually salty, fresh ground white pepper and not to forget some sugar. Barely cover with some good chicken broth, place a lid on it and ‘stew’ in a preheated 300F oven for ablut 90 minutes.

This is a typical German / Westphalian recipe.

Similar in North Germany called “Pinkel und Gruenkohl”

Peter
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