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Getting to Know Your Veggies: Kale
Posted On: 06/14/2012|Posted By: Admin
Kale is packed with calcium, but few people would be likely to identify it as a food favorite. Handled improperly, it can be tough or bitter. Perhaps you have unpleasant memories of being forced to eat it as a child? However, I promise that with the right preparation kale can be a delicious addition to your meals.
First, you’ll want to avoid greens that are limp, spotted or yellowing as they will taste bitter. Ideally, they should be eaten as soon as possible, but they can be held for up to a few weeks if the stems are removed before the leaves are stored in a plastic bag and refrigerated. Before using, be sure to wash them thoroughly by filling your sink or a large bowl with water, adding the greens and agitating the leaves gently to loosen any dirt. Allow the leaves to soak for a few minutes while any dirt or sediment settles to the bottom and then rinse the leaves once more. Remember, never wash your veggies until you’re ready to eat them!
Kale stems are very tough and need to be removed entirely from each leaf. Unlike most greens, it holds on to much of its volume when cooked. A one pound bunch will yield 1 ½ to 2 cups cooked.
Kale is great in soups or combined with neutral foods like potatoes, pasta, beans and even eggs, as you’ll see below. They can also be pureed with olive oil, pinenuts and parmesan to make a delicious pesto.
One of our CSA members recently sent an email telling us how delicious his first box of produce was and sharing the following recipe that he used to cook the kale. We tried this out for dinner with the farmhands and received rave reviews! Feel free to swap out or add different veggies to this recipe. We shredded and sautéed some potatoes and added it to ours, along with a few extra eggs. After a long day’s work, our workers have big appetites!
Whiskey Creek Kale Frittata
Cooking time 45 minutes~feeds 4
4 C. Cored and stemmed kale, packed loosely
8 pencil-sized green onions, sliced
1/4 medium bell pepper, julienned
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
2 oz. crumbled feta/shredded cheese of your choice
4-6 eggs (depending on egg size and appetites – we used 8!), beaten with 1/4 cup liquid (milk, water, 1/2 & 1/2)
Dash of crushed red peppers or cayenne (optional)
Heat a medium-sized, non-stick skillet over medium-heat. Add oil, green onion, bell peppers and kale. Sprinkle with 1/4 t. Kosher salt, cover tightly and reduce heat to medium. Cook 5 minutes, stirring once. When kale is cooked down, stir in egg/liquid mixture, making sure all vegetables are distributed evenly. Gently lift edges of eggs to allow uncooked egg to run underneath. Sprinkle with cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Slide under a broiler set at low until eggs are set and frittata is browned on top. Remove from pan by sliding onto a large platter. Slice into four servings and serve with oven roasted potatoes.
So if you are unsure or unexcited about kale, consider this an opportunity to give it another chance. I think you’ll be surprised at how good this veggie can be!