Kale is a super green. Please don't say "what the heck do I do with kale?" because holy moly, it can go in anything. And unless you are adverse to all things green, then you'll like kale. It is in the same family as brocolli and has the same super nutrients that contain anti-cancer chemicals as well as a slew of vitamins.
QUICK IDEAS: chop in your food processor and add to your eggs; make a pesto out of it; blanch it and freeze enough to last you through the winter
Potato and Kale Soup: serves 4-6
From Farm-Fresh and Fast
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
Water to cover vegetables
3 cups chopped kale
Sea salt to taste
1 carrot or golden beet, shredded, for garnish
1) Heat oil in a large stockpot and sauté onions and garlic until softened.
2) Add potatoes and water to cover. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that arises.
3) Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. When potatoes are fully cooked, puree with immersion blender, then add kale and salt to heat through.
4) Top with garnish and serve.
Massaged Kale w/Tomatoes, Creamed Mozzarella & Wild Rice: serves 4
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup wild rice, soaked overnight in 4 cups water
1 bunch kale, midribs stripped, well dried and cut into 1/4 in ribbons
8 oz fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup sour cream
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1) Heat a glug (2 tbsp) of olive oil. Gently cook the onion and garlic with the salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce by half. Add the wild rice and the soaking liquid and cook until tender, about 45 minutes.
2) In a mixing bowl, sprinkle the kale with a pinch of salt. Massage the kale until it is dark green, limp, and tender in mouthfeel.
3) Tear the mozzarella into rough chunks. Combine with the sour cream, lemon zest and juice, a good pinch of salt, and a couple of grinds of black pepper.
4) When the wild rice is cooked, drain any residual liquid and let cool.
5) Toss the tomatoes, kale and wild rice together with a couple glugs (2-4 tbsp) of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Dot with the creamed mozzarella and serve.
How to freeze greens:
How do you know where the greens in the supermarket come from especially in the winter? By freezing the extra greens from your farm, you won't have to purchase unknown greens in the winter.
*Blanching and prompt cooling are necessary steps in preparing practically every vegetable, except herbs and green peppers, for freezing. The reason is that heating slows or stops the enzyme action. Enzymes help vegetables grow and mature. After maturation, however, they cause loss of quality, flavor, color, texture and nutrients. If vegetables are not heated enough, the enzymes continue to be active during frozen storage and may cause the vegetables to toughen or develop off-flavors and colors. Blanching also wilts or softens vegetables, making them easier to pack. It destroys some bacteria and helps remove any surface dirt.
Boil a pot of water (water can be re-used up to 5 times)
Wash greens and cut off woody stems if you don't want them (I like to keep them)
Put greens in BOILING WATER (2 minutes, for most greens 3 minutes for collards)
Strain greens and place in ice water for 3 minutes
Drain thoroughly and place in freezer bag (make sure to label the bag) and remove as much air as possible.
Kale Pesto: It's easy!!
First, cut kale into manageable pieces and stuff them into your food processor. Add onion, scallion, and/or garlic right into the processor along with salt and pepper to taste. I like to also add a nut like cashews or roasted sunflower seeds. You can also add a hard cheese like parmesan, but I like to use nutritional yeast.
Next, run the food processor to chop up the ingredients. Then add olive oil to taste. For the right texture add water until it reaches the right consistency, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
Then, store in your refrigerator and use in anything...literally! eggs, pasta, cheese plate, pizza, sandwiches, YUM.
Nutty Kale Chips
from Food & Wine December 2014
1/2 cup nut butter (almond or cashew or make your own in food processor with a little water)
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
**(make sure your oil is certified organic or GMO free as these oils are now most likely GMO)
4 cups kale leaves (stems and spines removed; tear to right size)
1) Preheat the oven to 325.
2) In a large bowl, whisk the almond butter with the oil and season with salt. Add the kale
and massage to coat (yes, use your hands!). Arrange on the baking sheet(s) in single layers.
3) Bake for about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets and turning leaves, until the kale
is golden and almost crisp. Cook an additional 5 minutes: keep your eye out to make sure they
do not overcook. Let cool slightly before serving (the leaves will crisp up as they cool).
Kale and Celery Tiger Salad: Serves 4
from Bon Appetit Sept. 2014
2 red or green hot chiles, lightly smashed
2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
1/2 cup lime juice
1/3 cup fish sauce
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 medium bunch kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
3/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh Thai or sweet basil leaves
1/2 unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds (optional, for serving)
Chili oil (optional, for serving)
1) Whisk chiles, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and 2 Tbsp. water in a large bowl. Let sit 5 minutes, remove chiles and garlic.
2) Add kale, celery, scallions, cilantro, mint, and basil to dressing and toss to coat (salad should be very heavily dressed).
3) Serve salad topped with seeds and chili oil, if using.
Cacio e Pepe-Style Braised Kale
from Food & Wine December 2014
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. Tuscan kale (aka Dino kale or Lacinato kale), stemmed and leaves torn into large pieces
2 cups chicken broth
pinch of crushed red pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1) In a large pot, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the kale in batches and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until wilted, 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer.
2) Cover and cook until the kale is tender and almost all of the broth is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Season with salt.
3) Transfer the kale to a platter and top with the crushed red pepper, lots of black pepper, and the cheese.
Mac & Greens: Serves 6
From Vegetarian Times Nov. 2014
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 2/3 cups plus 2 Tbsp. vegetable broth, divided
6 oz. small elbow macaroni (1 1/2 cups)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 cup chopped mild onion or shallot
4 cups packed stemmed and chopped kale or other hearty green (collards, mustard, etc.)
6 oz. coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 tsp. mild hot sauce, such as Frank's or Cholula
1) Cook carrots in large saucepan of salted boiling water 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain, then transfer carrots to blender using a slotted spoon. Add 2/3 cup broth to blender. Cover, and blend carrots into smooth puree. Set aside.
2) Cook macaroni in saucepan of boiling water 6 minutes, or until just tender but still firm. Drain, and set aside.
3) Lightly coat large nonstick skillet with oil or cooking spray. Add butter, and melt over medium-low heat. Add onion, cover pan, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender but not brown. Add greens, and cook 2 minutes to wilt slightly. Add 2 Tbsp. broth, cover pan, and cook 4 minutes or until greens are tender but still bright green, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
4) Toss together cheese, flour, and cayenne in a bowl. Bring remaining 1 cup of broth and carrot puree to simmer in saucepan over medium heat, and gradually whisk in cheese mixture. Simmer 3 minutes, or until sauce is thick and smooth, whisking constantly. Whisk in hot sauce, reduce heat to low, and stir in macaroni, then greens. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Garlicky Kale and Provolone Sandwiches
from Food & Wine December 2014
2 Tbsp. olive oil
7 oil-packed anchovy fillets (optional)
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. kale (2 bunches) stemmed and leaves torn into large pieces
1/2 lb. thinly sliced provolone cheese
Sliced radishes, chopped green olives, and mayonnaise, for serving
One 12-inch ciabatta loaf, halved horizontally.
1) In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the anchovies and garlic, then add the kale in batches and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the kale is wilted, 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of water, cover, and cook until tender, 15 minutes.
2) Top the kale with the cheese in an even layer. Cover and cook until the cheese melts, 2 minutes.
3) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the kale and cheese to the bottom half of the ciabatta. Top with radishes, olives, and the top half of the ciabatta spread with mayonnaise. Close the sandwich and cut into 4 pieces.
Kale Rice Bowls
from Food & Wine December 2014
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. chopped peeled fresh ginger
3/4 lb. ground pork
1 lb. kale (about 2 bunches) stemmed and leaves torn into large pieces (16 cups)
1 Tbsp. Asian fish sauce
1 cup mixed chopped basil and cilantro
salt and pepper
steamed rice and Sriracha or other hot sauce, for serving
1) In a large skillet, heat the canola oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and pork and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the pork is just cooked through, 3 minutes. In batches, add the kale and stir-fry until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce and herbs and season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice and Sriracha.
Baked Egg and Kale Cups: Serving size is 1 to 3 cups
Olive or canola oil, for greasing pan
Kale (about 1 large leaf per serving)
Eggs (1 per “cup”)
Grated Parmesan, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1) Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin tin, place on a baking sheet, and set aside. Wash and trim kale; steam until bright green and just tender. (This can be done ahead of time.)
2) Line cups of prepped muffin tin with leaves of steamed kale making sure to cover as much of the muffin well as possible. Leave a little bit of kale sticking up above the surface of the muffin tin. You’ll need about 1 large leaf per “cup”; it’s okay to layer smaller leaves in one “cup.”
3) Crack one egg into each well of the muffin tin covering kale. Sprinkle eggs with Parmesan, salt and pepper. Bake for 17-25 minutes, until the egg yolk is set as you want it.
4) Remove muffin tray from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before carefully popping out the egg “cups.” Serve warm.
Spicy Smoky Kale Chips: Serves 2-3
about one bunch of kale, rinsed and dried
Salt, to taste
about 1 tablespoon of chili flakes (or to taste)
sprinkling of paprika or cayenne pepper (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Remove the kale leaves from their tough end and inner stems. Cut longer leaves in half or preferred bite size pieces.
3) Place kale chips in large bowl. Start by tossing in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. The kale leaves only need to be lightly coated with oil. Too much will make the chips too limp and greasy. Only add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil at a time. Then sprinkle in sea salt and chili flakes.
4) Put the kale pieces in a single layer in a baking sheet lined. You can use parchment paper if you like for easier cleaning.
5) Bake for 12-14 minutes or until crisp. About 5 minutes before they are finished, you can gently toss them in the sheet pan for more even baking. They will burn easy, be aware of how they are baking.
6) For more smoky or spicy flavor, lightly dust the kale chips with paprika or cayenne pepper.
Sesame Kale Salad
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
1Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons honey
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1) Chop leaves (separate from stems...or finally chop stems, too)
2) Steam stems first and then add greens until just wilty
3) Chill and mix together with other ingredients
4 leaves of Collards or Kale
Salt and pepper, to taste
Nutritional Yeast or Parmesan Cheese (optional)
1) Combine Kale and/or Collards with olive oil, salt, pepper and nutrional yeast and/or parmesan in a food processor. Don not de-stem the kale and collards, just include them!
2) Add in the eggs and pulse until combined.
3) Pour into pan and let cook for a tiny bit before you scramble!
Winter Pasta: Serves 4 - 6
4 medium sized leeks
1 small bunch of kale - 1/2 lb, stalks removed, washed well
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup goat cheese, plus more for topping
2 tablespoons + hot pasta water
fine grain sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
fresh lemon juice - optional
12 oz dried penne pasta
fresh thyme - and thyme flowers if available
1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the boiling water generously, and add the garlic and shallots. Boil for 2-3 minutes, stir in the kale and cook for another ten seconds. Don't overcook. Working quickly, use a slotted spoon or strainer to fish the greens, garlic, and shallots from the water.
*I like to just throw the raw ingredients into a food processor, but potentially cooking them first, as described above, works better!
2) Use a food processor to puree the ingredients along with the olive oil and goat cheese. Add a couple tablespoons of hot pasta water if needed to thin things out if needed. Then season with a touch of salt and plenty of black pepper. Taste. Depending on your goat cheese, you might need a little extra acidic oomph if your sauce is a bit flat. If so, add fresh lemon juice a bit at a time until you're happy with it the sauce. Set aside.
3) Reheat the pot of water and boil the pasta per package instructions. Drain and toss immediately with the green sauce. Serve topped with a few pinches of fresh thyme, and more crumbled goat cheese.
Kale Pepper Couscous Stuffed Peppers: Serves 2-3
1 bunch kale, large veins removed
1 cup packed basil leaves
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup parmesan, divided, plus more for topping
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup whole wheat couscous, prepared according to package directions
4 large red bell peppers, tops cut off and core removed
1 tomato, cored and diced
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2) Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add kale leaves and blanche for 1 minute or until bright green. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon, squeezing out excess water. Place in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Repeat with basil leaves, blanching for 30 seconds.
3) Add olive oil, garlic, and 1/4 cup parmesan to food processor and pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss pesto mixture with couscous until evenly coated. Stir in diced tomatoes, olives, and remaining parmesan.
4) Arrange peppers on a baking sheet. Pack couscous into peppers, filling full to the rim but not overflowing. Top with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to brown. Serve warm.
Sweet Potato Kale Pizza: 1 pizza
1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced, about 1/4 inch thick
1/2 onion, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, for seasoning potato slices and onion
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped kale
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon, freshly chopped rosemary
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the sweet potato slices and red onion slices in a bowl and toss with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
2) Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft and tender. Make sure you turn them once during the 20 minutes.
3) Prepare the pizza dough while the sweet potatoes are cooking.
4) Turn the oven to 425 degrees F. Pre-bake pizza crust as described in dough recipe.
5) After 10 minutes, remove crust from oven and lightly brush the dough with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
6) In a small bowl, toss the kale with balsamic vinegar. Top the pizza dough with mozzarella cheese, sweet potato slices, kale, red onion slices, and fresh rosemary.
7) Place the pizza in the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until pizza crust is golden and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing. Slice and serve warm.
Kale and Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Dressing: Serves 4
from Real Simple, 2013
1/4 cup pine nuts (I use sunflower seeds)
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup tahini
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
10 cups stemmed and chopped kale (about 1 bunch)
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1) Heat oven to 350. Toast the pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once until golden (6 to 8 minutes).
2) Transfer nuts to a plate when done
3) Increase heat to 450. On the rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with the cayenne, 2 tablespoons oil 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast, tossing once, until golden and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1/3 cup water, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper ( adding more water if needed to achieve a creamy consistency)
5) Add the kale, onion,raisins, pine nuts, and cauliflower and toss to combine.
**If you want the kale to be more tender, either chop it super finely in a food processor or wilt it breifly in a pan with water.
Curried Kale with Coconut: Serves 4
from Real Simple, 2013
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 teaspoons curry powder
10 cups stemmed and torn kale
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1) Heat oven to 350. Spread the coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes and then let cool.
2) Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
3) Add the garlic and curry powder and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4) Add as much kale to the skillet as will fit, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
5) Cook, tossing frequently and adding more kale when it will fit, until tender 6 to 8 minutes.
6) Add the lime juice to the kale in the skillet and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the coconut and crushed red pepper.
Kale Smoothie with Pineapple and Banana: Serves 2
from Real Simple, 2013
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 cups stemmed and chopped kale or spinach
1 1/2 cups chopped pineapple
1 ripe banana
1) Combine the coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, the kale, pineapple and banana in a blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Add water to reach the desired consistency.
Spicy Sausage Kale Bean Soup: Serves 6 to 8
from Savory Sweet Life
1 lb hot italian sausage, crumbled
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
32 ounces chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream (or whole milk)
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 bunch kale, coarsely chopped
Rustic bread, for serving
1) In a large dutch oven or soup over medium heat, cook the sausage, onion, and garlic for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and the sausage is browned (remove excess drippings if you wish).
2) Add broth, cream, cannellini beans, and sweet potatoes. Cover and bring soup to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes (make sure the sweet potatoes are tender enough).
3) Stir in the kale and cook for 5 more minutes, still covered. Serve with the bread!
Pickled Kale: Makes 2 Quarts
from Canning and Pickling, Whole Food Markets
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
1 small onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 1/2 lbs kale, rinsed thicker stems removed (reserve to use in another dish)
1) Prepare 2 Quart jars for packing.
2) Combine vinegar, water, onion, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper flakes in large skillet and bring to boil.
3) Add kale until just softened.
4) Transfer leaves to jars and pack gently.
5) Ladle hot liquid into jars until it covers the leaves.
6) Cool completely, cover jars, refrigerate at least 1 day for flavors to develop; will keep in fridge up to 3 weeks.