What’s Up With Kale?

Last week we posted a video called “Kale 101” and one of our readers asked “What is kale”?

So we set off to find information on kale and how to cook it. We found this great video to share, which was created by Outpost Natural Foods, a locally owned cooperative in the greater Milwaukee (Wisconsin) area.

Kale is very nutritious and a great source of vitamin A, iron, calcium and chlorophyll.

This hearty green has a cabbage-like flavor with a hint of mustard. It is most often cooked, because the leaves are fibrous and thick. It is excellent braised, steamed, sautéed and stir-fried and can be added to soup, stews, pastas and baked dishes.

What to look for:

When purchasing kale, look for crisp leaves free of discolorations. To prepare remove any heavy stems and midribs. Then hand shred or cut with a knife. Cooking times for kale will vary from 3–10 minutes depending on your taste.

The different kinds of kale:

There are different kinds of kale, including winter red, red chidori, lacinato, and redbor.. Curly kale is very common and has, just as the name implies, feathery leaves. It is great for soups and braising. Lacinato kale has smoother leaves, is darker green and can be used like spinach.

2 bunches of kale yields 4-6 portions.

Here are the key steps for cooking kale:

  • Wash the kale well.
  • Remove the stems by pulling the leaves up and away from the stem.
  • Discard the stems (unless you find them tasty. I read some comments that the stems are good and crunchy and can be enjoyed much like celery).
  • Roll the leaves and chop the kale into bite size pieces
  • Heat a pan on the stove with 3 cloves of garlic, crushed, fresh ginger if desired, or any other spices you like and olive oil.
  • Add the kale in handfuls. Fill the pan (this will take about half the kale). The water in the kale from the washing will help the kale steam.
  • Cook for about 7 minutes. Let it cook down.  Cook 1 minute more.
  • Remove.
  • Prepare the pan again and add the remainder of the kale. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the first batch of kale to the second batch.
  • Add some balsamic or red wine vinegar to the mix.  This will counteract the bitterness of the greens. Stir to blend.

Enjoy!

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