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All hail kale

I know. I'm as surprised as you. When Renee and I opened up our weekly CSA container of produce today, my heart sank when I saw the kale. My one experience with kale left me bitter because it was so darn, well, bitter. So here I had a head of black kale. Thankfully the Gathering Together Farm also includes recipes with each batch of produce, so last night I cooked it up. Verdict: two green thumbs up. Little did I know, collard greens are basically the same as kale, so the delicious collard greens I've enjoyed at the Delta Cafe all these years have been kale all along! Kale is thicker and veinier than most greens, so it doesn't suit everyone's taste. In the south, it's often cooked with pork fat or bits of sausage. It's pretty hearty. If you've never tried it, now is the time. Here's the recipe from the farm:

Steamed Kale, 4 servings

1 lb kale

1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup water

1 tsp cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Wash the kale well by submerging it in clean water a couple of times. Use a sharp knife to cut out the ribs of the kale and coarsely chop the leaves. In a large skillet with a lid, heat the oil. Saute the garlic until it just begins to turn golden.

Add the kale and the water. Stir briefly and cover. Cook on medium until the kale is tender but still bright green. Sprinkle with vinegar, season to taste and serve.

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