Make me a believer

I propose a kale recipe smackdown.

I read this morning on Sara’s blog Put Your Shovel Where your Mouth Is that she did not grow up eating kale, and she and her husband are in the process of learning to enjoy cooked greens.  Well, I did, but never developed a taste for them the way my mother (usually a fantastic cook) made greens.  Too soggy.

While Dan and I love kale in soup, and chard with eggs and cheese, and I do loves me some creamed spinach, kale, or pretty much creamed anything (ummm cream), I’m in the same boat of learning to love kale, since I can sure grow it.  So, dear readers, start your stoves, and cook up some kale.  Share with me your successes and failures, and make me a believer.

Send me the recipes of your favorite kale dishes and I will compile a kale lovers dream post complete with recipes and links to your blogs.  Let the calcium loading begin!

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16 Responses to “Make me a believer”

  1. charityanne Says:

    I too am struggling to love this leafy-goodness. I don’t really garden. I try. I fail. However I do belong to a lovely organic food co-op. I get a giant box (because I have two teenage males to feed) of seasonal produce weekly. This veggie is not our friend….even though we love our veggies over here. All this to say I hope you get lots of amazing recipes……

  2. Daphne Gould Says:

    I hope you get lots of replies. I grew kale for the first time last year so I’m not filled with kale recipes.

  3. Sande Says:

    I just tried some of the very dark crinkled kale as shown as in your photo. I just chopped some of it up raw in salads. It tasted all right like that to me. Never tried it cooked yet. I didn’t grow it though. I bought it at a Whole Foods store.

  4. kate@livingthefrugallife Says:

    Well, I posted my kale and creamy tomato sauce for pasta at least a year back. And the colcannon too.

    I also love kale in risotto, sometimes with the addition of a little guanciale.

    I’ve just had a meal that included an Asian inspired braised kale: soy sauce, water, mirin, a little brown sugar and slivered ginger in a dutch oven, simmer to dissolve the sugar, then mix in roughly chopped kale. Put the lid on but leave it ajar. Toss everything with tongs every couple of minutes until it’s all reduced and the kale is well cooked but not soggy. Top with toasted sesame seeds when serving.

    I also like it in a simple soup of rich chicken broth with spelt or barley, onion, celery, garlic, then a drizzle of olive oil and some grated parmesan over each serving.

    Failing that, cook lentils and rice together with a good broth and some onions & garlic. Steam or blanch whole kale leaves, and then use the lentils and rice as a stuffing. Roll up the kale leaf with the filling in a neat little package. Fill a small casserole dish with the packages and heat through with a little extra broth or else some tomato sauce for topping.

    That oughta get you started.

  5. Jennifer Fisk Says:

    I love kale and it is sooo good for you. I love the Emerald Kale in the Belfast COOP in Belfast Maine cookbook but it is somewhat complicated so I don’t make it terribly often.
    For a quick meal, I put a 3 qt. saucepan 2/3 full of salted water on to boil. I step out the back door and pick a large bunch of kaleup. I slide the leafy part off the stalks which go to the chickens. I rip up the leaves. When the water is boiling, I put whole wheat pasta in to cook and put the steamer section on top full of kale. When both things are cooked, I drain the pasta and coat it with olive oil and then mix in the kale. I put this mix into a pasta dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Very easy and quick and good for me.

  6. O. Says:

    Even hubby eats this kale stew, especially when it has sausage; the vegan version is equally tasty.

    a couple tablespoons olive oil
    an onion (or 2), chopped
    a clove or 2 of garlic, diced
    a bunch of kale, rinsed, with thick stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
    a green or red pepper, chopped (optional)
    a 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes (or several garden fresh tomatoes prepped for soup)
    15 oz. can of white kidney (cannellini) beans, drained
    a link or patty or two of Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled coarsely (optional)
    1 quart chicken or vegetable stock, more or less
    1/2 t. thyme (ish)
    pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

    In your soup pot, saute onions and garlic in oil; remove from pan (or, if you’re careful leave it in the pan). Add chopped kale and cover to steam for about 3-5 minutes, until kale is wilted and bright green. Remove lid. Put everything else in with the kale. Cover and heat through. It’s tasty with cheese toast or a sprinkle of parmesan. This freezes well, too.

  7. meemsnyc Says:

    I didn’t grow up eating kale and I ate it only once at my in-laws house. I definitely want to try growing it so I can experiment with it.

  8. Tessa Says:

    I love greens…except kale, when we tried it was just not to our liking. As usual I assumed that kale was one of those veggies that taste better when young, and we had gotten some older leaves. I plan on giving it a try again. Also, when we tried it, it wasn’t my home grown. Just a couple of weeks ago I tried a little kale garnish that came with a jello salad I had ordered. It was the most beautiful kale I’d ever seen- purple and green frilled. At it tasted wonderful. I think I found the variety on Jonny’s Seeds-so I’m eager to try it next year.

  9. vrtlaricaana Says:

    Here is one I like:

    saute some olive oil, garlic and onion. Add some salt, chive, some pepper. Add kale (chopped and if you are using the Tuscan kale, remove stems), after a minute or two add chopped mushrooms. When mushrooms are near done, add cooking cream. Cook for few more minutes.
    It is great to eat it with rice (in a risotto) or with pasta.
    Sometimes, if I have leftovers from roasted chicken, I will add those in too.
    If I have older kale leaves, I will blanch them first.

    There are no precise quantities of kale/mushrooms, you go with your instinct. And if you like it, next time you can improve by adding more or less of any of the ingredients. I started first with small volumes of kale, now it makes the main part of the dish.

  10. Sara Says:

    Ha! I’m glad I’m not alone! It helps that my “gateway” kale is pretty petite. I’m growing the red winter kale from botanical interests, and so far my harvests have been fairly young leaves.

    The recipe for the kale in my post was from Bittman (HTCE). Basically olive oil and garlic first, then I tossed the Kale in (fairly well chopped, with only small stems included) until it wilted down. I added a few tablespoons of water (stock would work too) and a tablespoon or so of tahini and lemon juice. And some crushed red pepper. S&P. I let it cook a bit and then turned the heat off but left the lid on until we were ready to eat. It was creamy from the tahini and pretty soft, but had a little crunch to it yet.

    Everybody says the kale chips are awesome, I’d try that with big leaves.

    The recipe on my list to try with the next harvest is:
    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Wilted-Kale-and-Roasted-Potato-Winter-Salad-350884

  11. kitsapFG Says:

    I had a fellow blogger share this recipe with me about a year ago and like it so much I will pass it on. Cook chopped kale in lots of olive oil until tender, add lots of chopped garlic and saute until fragrant, not brown. Then, either add cooked chickpes/garbanzo beans and heat through and serve either over pasta OR as a side with parmesan grated over it OR add pine nuts and raisins, then parmesan.

  12. villager Says:

    Kale chips are awesome! Cut the kale into bite size pieces, coat with olive oil and add a little salt, then put in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 300F for about 20 minutes.

    Lately we have been putting some raw kale into green smoothies. Young leaves are better for that.

  13. nruit Says:

    My favorite kale recipe is very simple: Rinse the leaves and place in a microwavable dish. Cover tightly with wax paper and give it 2 mins or so for a goodly sized dish. Take it out and melt butter and don’t be shy with the salt. If the leaves are just wilted but not soft, they are divine!

  14. Ali Says:

    I’m loving all the kale suggestions! This afternoon I picked about a pound of Tuscan Kale leaves to try out one of these recipes tomorrow. It will be hard to choose!

  15. kitsapFG Says:

    Here’s another kale recipe that we just had for dinner tonight and it was heavenly. Sautee sliced onions with chopped fresh kale in olive oil until the onions are soft and slightly carmelized and the kale is wilted and tender. Salt to taste. Before serving, add chunks of feta cheese and sliced toasted almonds – toss and serve. Divine.

  16. Michelle Says:

    You have to try kale pesto. I like to blanch Tuscan kale in my pressure cooker – remove the mid rib and tear it into pieces, put it in a steamer basket and use the minimum amount of water required for your cooker and then 2 minutes at high pressure with a quick release. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, then blanch it by simmering it in plenty of salted water for about 20 minutes. Then whiz it in a food processor with the usual basil pesto ingredients (sans basil). Put it on pasta or use it as a spread or dip – yummy!

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