I must preface this post by stating up front that I am in love with kale. I am known at several venues around town as The Kale Pusher. Kale is remarkable. It’s terribly easy to grow. It’s really tasty, especially prepared properly. It’s amazingly healthy. If you have urban hens, they will love it too. Or pet rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. The right varieties of kale will continue producing after our Montana weather dips into single digits!
The trick with kale is great soil and adequate water. With our growing methods, Winterbor Curly Kale can reach hip-high to an adult by late August – and that is with regular harvesting! Here are some of our favorite recipes.
Amazing Zuppa Tuscana
(Better than Olive Garden’s?!)
½-3/4 cup onions, diced
3 slices bacon, diced
2 tablespoons garlic cloves, minced
1 quart chicken broth
4 medium potatoes, diced into ¼” cubes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
2-4 cups kale, chopped (having removed spines first!)
1# link sausage, chopped (kielbasa or Italian sausage)
1 cup milk (or heavy cream)
Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 tablespoons lemon juice)
1. Place onions and bacon into large saucepan and cook over medium heat until onions are almost clear – about 5 minutes.
2. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
3. Add sausage if uncooked (or wait until step 4 if already cooked), chicken broth, potatoes and seasonings, simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Add kale (and sausage if it’s already cooked) and simmer 5-10 minutes.
5. Add milk and simmer 2 minutes, then lemon juice. Serve!
1 bunch kale, rinsed and dried
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 250
2. Remove center rib from each kale leaf
3. Toss kale with olive oil in a big bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Arrange leaves on two baking sheets on parchment paper.
5. Bake until crisp – about 30-35 minutes. Cool & eat!
1 small bunch kale
1 cup basil leaves
¼ cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons minced garlic
½ cup good olive oil
½ cup parmesan, grated
1. Add kale, basil, walnuts and garlic to food processor and begin processing.
2. Add olive oil slowly until smoothly pureed.
3. Add parmesan and blend.
Delicious & Fast Bean & Kale Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow or sweet onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, shredded or chopped
4 cups raw kale, chopped (remove the spiny sections first)
4 cups chicken broth vegetable broth
2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans or 2 (15 ounce) cans navy beans, drained
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes or 4 cups diced fresh tomatoes
2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, heat olive oil.
2. Add garlic, onion and carrots; sauté until soft and the onion is transparent.
3. Wash the kale, leaving small droplets of water. Sauté, stirring, until wilted and a lovely emerald green, about 15 minutes.
4. Add the remaining ingredients.
5. Simmer 15 minutes.
6. Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with chopped parsley and shredded parmesan.
7. Serve with a nice loaf of crusty bread to soak up all the yummy broth!
Sesame Ginger Kale Salad
1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon garlic (powder or minced)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
3 tablespoons flax seed oil or good olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce or Bragg’s Amino Acids
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon ground fresh flax seeds (optional)
1. Tear greens into large pieces and discard the thick vein.
2. Briefly steam kale (1 minute or less) then rinse with cold water to stop; set aside to drain.
3. Mix remaining ingredients, then pour over well-drained kale.
4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour for flavors to meld.