In this time of the year, in this part of the world . . . it’s Kale season !
Kale is part of the Cabbage vamily and is very rich in Vitamin A, C and Potassium
(even after cooking).
But how do we prepare it ? how do we cook it?
To clean the kale (this is black kale ) you need to remove the center spine of the leaves, it is hard even after cooking. In the picture you can see the difference between a “clean” leaf and a whole one.
Kale needs to be washed in plenty cold water and cooked in plenty boiling salted water for about 10 / 15 minutes. After it has been boiled there are many many ways to cook or serve it, here are 10 ideas:
- on bread with extra virgin olive oil: slightly toast a slice of tuscan bread, rub a piece of garlic on one side, cover the slice of bread with cooked kale ( and a little bit of it’s cooking water) and dress with new tuscan extra virgin olive oil, green and tangy.
- sauteed in a pan: drain the kale and keep one or two cups of it’s cooking water aside. Roughly chop the kale. Sautee it in a pan with olive oil and garlic. As you sautee it you can ad other flavours like: red pepper, fresh ginger, anchovies, beans, sausages, pieces of bacon . . .
- once it is sauteed, kale is great to dress pasta or gnocchi – just remember to always keep a cup of the pasta’s cooking water to add to the pasta as you dress it, this will make the sauce softer and it will “hug” the pasta better
- ribollita – see recipe
- in the oven with eggs: roughly chop the cooked kale and dress it with oil and salt and a clove of garlic if you like it. Arrange the kale in an oven proof dish leaving little craters for the eggs. Set a raw egg in each crater and loosen the white of the egg so that it runns through the kale leaves. Add salt and pepper on the eggs and set in a hot oven for a few minutes ( the cooking time depends on how well done you like your eggs)
- kale is great with stewed squid, or with shrimp – sauteed with a splash of lemon
- frittata – beat a couple of eggs per person, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese, 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture in a greased frying pan, add the cooked chopped kale ( if you have any leftover sauteed kale it works great !). Let cook covered on low heat. If you are looking for more body in your frittata, add some sliced boiled potatoes . . . .
- Kale Chips :Preheat oven to 250°F. Toss kale with olive oil in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange leaves in single layer on baking sheet. Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes for flat leaves and up to 33 minutes for wrinkled leaves. Transfer leaves to rack to cool.
- Cream of Kale with spelt: Sautee the roughly chopped kale with olive oil and garlic. Add 1 cup of vegetable broth and let cook untill kale is very dender. Puree the kale (add some broth if necessary) and return to skillet, add cooked farro and correct the seasoning. Serve with a splash of fresh new olive oil.
- simply boiled and dressed with olive oil, salt and a few drops of fresh lemon juice!
Kale will keep for a few days in the refrigerator and can be frozen after it has been par-boiled . . . enjoy it !!