Monday, August 20, 2012

How to Eat Kale

I hate kale.

A friend stated that one day he just gave up trying to eat kale. He tried to convince himself that he liked it but life was too short to eat stuff that he didn't really like. Kale is one of those vegetables for me. We removed it from our weekly vegetable bin a long time ago. I thought that I would never find ways of liking it. I never actively sought it out but over the past three years, I have found three ways that I can eat the stuff.

The first way, Kale Chips. Take a large leafed kale such as dinosaur kale. Remove the ribs. Lay flat on a baking sheet. Lightly oil and sprinkle salt. Bake in a moderate oven (350 or so) until they crisp. My kids love it this way.

The second is Caldo Verde. It's a Portuguese soup that uses potatoes and chorico or chorizo as a base. I find that any sausage works. Okay, the basic recipe is to fry the sausage if raw, render if cooked. Take that fat and brown some garlic or onions. Add liquid (water, broth or mixture of wine and broth). When begins to simmer, add cut potatoes, kale and meat. Cook until potatoes are done. The reason this is such a loose recipe is that I often use different greens, sometimes omit the potatoes, add hot sauce or whatever. It is a basic sausage and greens soup. It works.

The third way is only for those who like bitter. My wife will eat the previous two but if you get the young kale or even microgreens, the mustard like qualities are more pronounced while the cabbage type stuff disappears. I like a Young Kale Salad. It is especially nice with other pungent tasting vegetables (green onion, daikon radish, spicy sprouts) and then tossed with a sweeter dressing (honey mustard or maple balsamic) to balance the heat and bitterness.

I am thinking that there could be even another way that could work. Making a small meatball and either adding cooked kale inside or creating a wrapper like a mini cabbage roll might work. I guess you could even layer kale and cabbage roll stuffing into a casserole type thing might also work.

I hate kale except when I don't.

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