Als ich wisse das Morgen der Erde enden wuerde, immernoch wurd ich mein Apfelbaum pflanzen.

Even if I knew the world would perish tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther

"Factory work's easier on the back, and I don't mind it, understand, but a man becomes what he does. Got to watch that. That's why I keep at farmin' although the crops haven't ever throve. It's the doin' that's important." Madison Wheeler in Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

Thursday, May 10, 2012

In Praise of Kale

Scary... Very Scary

Dinosaur Kale - Also known as Tuscan Kale.

Red Russian Kale
My daughter decided this fall that she was going to go as kale next year for Halloween - because kale is scary.  Unfortunately for her I don't share her opinions.  This year I planted two types of kale (Red Russian and Dinosaur) - it's that good. 

Our greens have all taken off and it's time to dust off those recipes for this wonderful (and much maligned) vegetable.  I haven't bothered to retype recipes that I got from the web.  Just click on the link.

Kale Chips

These are Soccer Boy's favorite.  If I let him, he would eat all of the kale I bring into the house this way - and he wouldn't share!  The non-curly variety works best for these.  Don't overcook them!

Cranberry Beans and Kale

We make this mostly in the fall.  It's very chili like - but oh, so good.  It also freezes well.  This is probably one of my favorite recipes from the fat free vegetarian web site.  I love too that it uses cornmeal, so it's gluten free.  As an extra bonus it uses ingredients that I always have on hand.  Be sure to chop the kale into bite size pieces or they all clump on your spoon.

Raw Kale Salad with Dates and Olives


Equal parts lemon juice and olive oil and salt.  The amount depends on how much kale you have.


One large buch of kale (any kind works with this one), stems removed and cut into ribbons.
Add some pitted dates, sunflower seeds (or almonds, or pumpkin seeds)- raw or roasted and salted and some sliced olives (green ones are good, but Greek ones would also be lovely).

Toss together - enjoy!

The rest of these gems are adapted from Simply in Season.

Kale Potato Soup

I always make a huge batch and then freeze it for later in the winter.  The kids really like this one - even the girl who thinks kale is scary.

Remove stems and chop two large bunches of kale. 
Add 10 cups of broth to a large soup pot. 
Chop 4 large potatoes (or the equivalent of those odd shaped babies that you found in the potato bed).  I don't bother to peel them - just scrub well.
Chop 1 onion and a head of garlic(sometimes I sautee them in butter or olive oil,but other times I'm healthier and I just toss them into the broth).  Those who are fearful of garlic may want to reduce the amount.
Add kale and cook for just a few minutes until it's tender and bright green.
Puree (preferably with a stick blender) until smooth.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

I usually make this during Advent and a swirl of spaghetti sauce makes it look festive and adds some more good flavor.

Savory Kale

This is so simple.  I never would have tried it because it just didn't sound all that great.  But, one night a friend served it and we couldn't get enough.  Believe it or not, it's actually good for breakfast or brunch.

Saute one chopped onion and some garlic until brown and crisp.
 Add one bunch of kale (stems removed and sliced into ribbons).  Sautee a few minutes until soft and green - you may need to add some water.
Add 1 T of tomato paste and salt to taste.
Heat and eat

If you haven't planted any yet...Don't be afraid.  Kale is NOT scary.   It's not too late. 

Click here for seed ordering information.



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