Monday, March 31, 2014


Winterbore Kale

If I had to choose one winter crop to plant, it would be kale. Prolific, tough, cheap seeds, grows fast, repeat harvest, tasty, adaptable to many cuisines, and tolerant of heat (until May, at least...). I grow Tuscan (Lacinato) Kale and Winterbor Kale (from Johnnys). The Winterbor is probably a bit tenderer and a bit more prolific.  We love kale in any recipe that calls for spinach or chard--yeah, different flavor, different texture, but no big difference really. Since it's a fairly substantial green, it can be used in any recipe that calls for collards, too, with some slight adjustments for its faster cooking.

Finally, a real favorite in my household is any raw kale salad recipe. I like this one from Food & Wine... and the one below, which comes from (I think I'm getting this right) a Lebanese friend of a friend... It's so easy and really tasty.

Kale Salad - the King of Greens


1 large bunch black kale, torn into bite size pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 -2 lemon
1/3 cup currants or 1/3 cup other dried fruit
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup pecorino cheese, grated
1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
salt and pepper


Tear kale pieces off the main fibrous center stem. Add the kale to a large mixing bowl, season with salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Massage with your hands making sure to coat the kalewith oil and begin to break down the cell structure.

Grate the zest and squeeze the juice of the lemons over the massaged kale. Add the currants, toasted pine nuts, pecorino and toss to combine. Serve with a pinch of red chili flakes, if desired.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 (34 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving: 6 servings Calories 156.6 Calories


LGJ said...

This is our first year growing kale and it's doing well but we're still getting the hang of cooking it. I did come across a tasty "green lemonade" that I need to recreate at home - the only ingredients are kale, green apple, ginger, and lemon juice (and water, I imagine). In a few weeks I'll have three of the four ingredients in my yard!

Coffee to Compost said...

I love kale! I have been eating it sauteed in olive oil with a bit of minced garlic, but your recipe looks more exciting. :)

Survival Gardener/David The Good said...

Kale is one of those overlooked greens... delicious fresh from the garden. A friend of mine grew "Ethiopian" kale for the last couple of years and had it last right through the summer. I'm trying it myself this year. The "Siberian" type gives up in June or so for me. I haven't tried Tuscan or Winterbor yet.

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Lily said...

It's pretty funny, I live in the 'country' where people grow their own gardens, yet our neighbor is on a health kick and sharing his diet and no one has heard of kale! Hilarious. They talk of it like it's alien food!

Diane said...

I would love to grow more Kale, but our Spring weather sometimes feels like summer.. and the Kale seems to get bitter quickly..