Kale is such a wonderful vegetable. I think everyone should eat more of it. Our CSA members may have noticed this, since they get it every week. Here are just a few reasons why I like kale.
- It grows for many months of the year in our cold climate, and unlike spinach and lettuce, holds up in the hot weather too. Plant it indoors in March, eat it by May, and harvest off of the same plant until November. Cut the larger leaves and let the smaller ones grow.
- It may even survive the winter, and you can eat from the same plant the following spring, before anything else is ready, until it goes to seed.
- You can freeze it to add to soups in winter. Dunk in boiling water, cool with cold water, bag and freeze.
- It comes in several gorgeous varieties and colors. We grow Green Curly and Red Curly, (actually called Winterbor and Redbor), Tuscan, and sometimes Red Russian.
- It’s fast and versatile to cook. Stir it into almost any soup, stew, vegetable or egg dish.
- It’s healthy, the “most nutritious vegetable in the world,” according to Wikipedia. Who wouldn’t want that?
Here is one of our favorite kale recipes.
Grilled Kale Caesar Salad
- One or two bunches of kale
- Olive oil
- Caesar Salad Dressing
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
Wash kale and lay on a baking sheet. (Optionally, you can remove the stems from the kale. I usually skip this step, but it’s supposed to make the kale less bitter.) Drizzle oil over it, sprinkle with salt, and use your hands to coat both sides of each leaf in oil and salt. Using tongs, grill both sides of each leaf on a hot grill until soft. It can take longer than you think, but don’t let it burn. It helps to keep moving it around.
Remove from the grill and let cool. Chop and toss with Caesar dressing, croutons, and grated Parmesan.
A note on croutons — good ones can be hard to find! You can make your own by cubing up stale bread, tossing with olive oil and whatever herbs you want, and baking them in your oven until crunchy. The Co-op also sells some kind of long toasty stick bread, I forget what they call it, but it makes perfect croutons if you cut it up into little pieces.
This gorgeous recipe is also served at Red Feather, one of Boise’s finest restaurants, who happen to buy produce from us. We did indeed get the idea from them. Delicious there or at home, try it out!
More Kale recipes coming soon!