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12 October 2008

Kale. How to cook?[More:] With greens, I usually do a quick-ish sautee with olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. This does not seem to work with kale; it gets rubbery and inedible (at least it has when I've tried it).

I don't tend to like the "boil/simmer greens for three hours" recipes, because I like the greens crisper.

Should I just steam the kale? Steaming seems so boring, but maybe it makes the most sense? Other thoughts?
Chop it up into a lentil soup!
posted by moonmilk 12 October | 21:23
Saute them for a bit just until the pan gets all hot, then throw in about a half cup of water and cover the pan. This sort of flash-steams the greens and they end up crisper than plain sauteing.

Disclaimer: this is what I do for Chinese broccoli, never actually tried on kale. But they're all in the same family, yes?
posted by casarkos 12 October | 21:25
Here's a recipe for Grilled Coconut Kale

Melt 3 cups of coconut milk in a pot till it's mixed and luke warm. Transfer to a bowl and add 1 tablespoon salt, 1/4 c lemon juice, 1 teaspoon cayenne and 1 tsp paprika.

Remove the stalks from the Kale and cut into 6" pieces. Stir the kale into the coconut milk and marinade for upto 4 hours in the fridge.

grill the Kale on your bbq or stove top cast iron for 30-45 seconds on each side.

note: I have not tried this yet but plan to next week.
posted by special-k 12 October | 21:34
Disclaimer: this is what I do for Chinese broccoli, never actually tried on kale. But they're all in the same family, yes?

That's what I do for chard (and I love it that way), but I tried it on the kale last week and it was still rubbery and weird.
posted by occhiblu 12 October | 21:44
OK, I retract. I think maybe I was underestimating the amount of oil and water that they need.

I ended up making this recipe, minus the pancetta and onion bit -- basically, sautee the garlic and red pepper in more olive oil than I usually use, add the chopped kale, add much more broth than I usually use. And I liked the idea of letting the liquid boil off at the end.

So that's what it's doing right now. And I tasted a bit and it's yummy.

And the lentil soup and coconut kale recipes sound lovely, and I will try them in the future; I was looking for something that I could do in less than 30min. as a side for dinner tonight.
posted by occhiblu 12 October | 22:13
Try looking for lacinato kale. It's a lot less tough and stringy than most kale and never cooks up bitter. (Sometimes called dinosaur kale, for reasons unbeknownst to me. As opposed to mammal kale...?)

For regular kale and other fall-ish greens, try blanching. Throw washed and chopped greens into a big pot of boiling salted water. After two or three minutes, dump everything into a colander in the sink and toss it with a tray of ice cubes. Drain and either sautée as spinach, or freeze/refrigerate. It's a bit of a pain for one meal but well worth processing in a batch and storing up, all squirrel-style.
posted by vetiver 12 October | 22:17
I usually just process it up into flakes and add it to soups, sauces, a lot of things, stealth style. Adds a lot of nutrition.
posted by danf 12 October | 22:43
The kale I had was Russian kale:

≡ Click to see image ≡

which is my favorite (and it turned out very well! I ended up throwing in some lemon zest and juice, as well, which was yummy).

I think I remember reading that the lacinato kale, which is Italian, was first imported to the US by someone who thought the leaves' texture looked like dinosaur skin, hence "dinosaur kale." But they couldn't make the green catch on, no one would buy it from them. A marketing-savvy friend suggested changing the name to "Tuscan kale," and sales skyrocketed.
posted by occhiblu 13 October | 00:16
Kale needs to cook for a while, it is a lot tougher than swiss chard or other greens, so if you like a crisp green, I'd switch.
Here's my kale recipe if you want to try it!
posted by rmless2 13 October | 01:06
The Dutch cuisine is so mundane that boerenkoolstamppot (boiled potatoes and -kale mashed together) is one of our national dishes.
Not so bad with rookworst (similar to kielbasa).
posted by jouke 13 October | 02:13
Vetiver: It's called dinosaur kale because it looks like it might be the skin of a prehistoric critter.
posted by Specklet 13 October | 03:12
Funny, occhi, i thought it was your past kale mention that kickstarted my cooked greens explorations.
posted by ethylene 13 October | 05:52
Funny, occhi, i thought it was your past kale mention that kickstarted my cooked greens explorations.

Hee. It may have been. I love kale. It's just that I normally throw it into white bean soup, where it cooks perfectly. I've been stymied lately in trying to figure out a non-soup kale-based side dish.
posted by occhiblu 13 October | 09:51
Lots of kaley goodness here.

Recipes open as .pdfs.
posted by essexjan 13 October | 12:11
Eat More Kale!

I've been wanting to try this recipe for the counterintuitive kale chips.

I often saute kale with garlic and crushed red pepper. I usually blanch it first, which makes it soft like chard.

Portuguese kale soup is how I fell in love with kale.
posted by Miko 13 October | 13:14
Kale is delicious in soup. Potatoes, chicken broth, sausage & kale in the crockpot = delish.
posted by theora55 13 October | 16:02
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