As the kale has started to come ready at the farm, I thought it might be useful to share a few tips on how to prepare and enjoy this nourishing and versatile vegetable. We are so lucky to have organic kale of several varieties available all year around. But it is especially yummy fresh from the garden. First step is obtain the freshest kale possible in your area. Farmer’s markets should be getting it soon. Many groceries have it as well of course. Check out this curly and lacinato kale in the garden.
It’s so much fun to pick that we ended up with more than we needed for last night's meal, so I stuck it in water alongside a few flowers and this is how it looked the next day. Just like basil and other herbs, this is a great to way keep it fresh. And since it has not been refrigerated, it retains that fresh from the garden taste. Refrigerating is also an excellent way to keep it fresh, especially if it has already been cooled.
One of the first things I like to do is make a veggie stock while cooking. It’s a great way to use the stems of the veggies that you may not want to serve, and it makes a lovely mineral- and vitamin-rich tea to sip while cooking. The one pictures here has celery, two kinds of kale, collards, a bit of carrot, red chard, and turmeric. One of my favorite ways to prepare kale is to bake it with some spices and olive oil. In this case, I used a stone pot and added fresh ginger, garlic, turmeric and Himalayan salt along with the olive oil. Covered the pot and baked at 375 degrees for about twenty minutes. Then returned it uncovered to the oven after adding a half cup or so of the stock that had been simmering on the stovetop. This keeps the kale from sticking, adds yummy flavors, and allows the kale to crisp up a bit on the top. Buon appetito!
Other options with the kale are carrots to add a little sweetness, turnips (purple-top in the picture below), and beets (yum – golden beets!).
And when tomatoes come into season in the summer, the combination of acidity and sweetness complements kale and other greens such as collards and dandelions nicely.
Yours in healthy eating and living,