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Kale

Vegetables

 

 

Name:

Kale

Fact Sheet:

Kale

Variety:

Flat leaf

Curly leaf

Family

Cabbage

Availability:

Winter / Spring

Character:

There are many varieties of Kale; the leaf colour will vary by variety. The leaves may be curly or flat, greyish-green, bluish, yellowish, reddish-green or purpley-red. Most popular varieties tend to have curly, grey-green leaves

Use:

Kale's flavour is very "robust", as the euphemism goes. The leaves are too tough to eat raw; the stems are too tough to eat in any fashion. New varieties are being bred that are less tough and bitter

Quality Points:

Choose crisp leaves with deep colour with no yellowing or insect holes.

Storage:

Store in fridge either in plastic bag or wrapped in damp paper towels for up to 3 days. Past that, it starts to get a much stronger taste. You can freeze cooked Kale.

Preparation:

Wash Kale well because sand and dirt get caught up in the leaves. You'll probably have to rinse twice, in fact. Chop, then discard stems as they are too tough to cook up.

Cooking Method:

Very small, young leaves can be eaten raw. Otherwise, Kale should be cooked, steamed, braised, boiled or microwaved

If boiling, cook in boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes, keeping the lid off the pot to reduce the odour (sic). Drain, then reheat in a pan with a good heaping tablespoon of butter.

Goes well with onion, garlic and cheese

History:

Kale is a very ancient member of the cabbage family, possibly native to the Eastern Mediterranean. The Greeks and Romans grew Kale, though they didn't distinguish between Kale and Collards; that is a modern distinction. It was probably during the Roman Empire that it arrived in France and Britain.

Nutrition:

 

Comment:

 Kale has been used for centuries as animal feed. Though a member of the cabbage family, it's a "loose leaf" cabbage. Its leaves don't curl inwards, they sprout upwards and outwards. (Its close cousin, Cavolo Nero or Palm Cabbage, also grows like this.)