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Dec 19, 2004 02:13 PM


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Just received a big bag of kale from someone's garden. Any favorite recipes out there? How do I transform the stuff from bitter and chewy to tender and savory? I'm thinking of maybe trying a colcanon since S.O. is of Irish descent and is like a crackhead with the mashed potatoes.

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  1. One great way to get rid of, I mean, use kale is to chop thinly and add to a beef stew right before serving. It wilts down much to the consistency of cooked spinach and will absorb the flavor of the broth.

    1. Here's a variation on a Spanish dish, which works with all sorts of greens.

      Saute 2 - 3 cups roughly chopped kale with onions and garlic in a little olive oil. When the kale has wilted a bit, stir 2 cups of medium or short grain rice in with the kale mixture and toast the rice for a couple of minutes. Pour the mixture into 4 cups of boiling chicken or vegetable broth, cover and cook for 15 - 17 minutes. Let rest a couple of minutes and then fluff with a fork before serving.

      1. Caldo verde (literally, green soup), the Portuguese classic made with onions, potatoes, chourico or linguica sausage, and copious amounts of kale; kale stands up better in soup more than virtually any other green. Absolutely yummy this time of year.

        1. two ideas:

          1) the simplest and most delicious thing to do with fresh kale is to chop it into strips, steam it (not too lightly but not too heavily either) and serve it with oil, vinegar, salt, and maybe some black pepper. this is the best way if the kale is tender and not too bitter.

          2) when i lived in kenya, the daily staple was "sukuma wiki", made of collard greens which are very similar to kale:

          in a saucepan, heat a couple tablespoons of oil and add half a diced onion; sautee until the onion softens a little. add half a diced tomato (don't add water on the cutting board) and sautee another 3 or 4 minutes until the onions are translucent and the tomato is soft but not until it loses its shape entirely. add a little bit of water. add the kale and stir. make sure there is some water on the bottom of the saucepan, and cover the pan. the aim is to first steam and then lightly stew the kale in the onion and tomato oil. check often and stir it, adding water if necessary. cook until done.

          the tomato, by the way, completely cuts the bitterness. this dish is actually very sweet.

          1. Well Kale is my favorite vegetable--believe it or not I eat it 3-4 times a week and have been for years. I usually prepare it by cutting it into fairly small pieces, briefly steaming it and putting a light dressing with olive oil. Its very sweet and delicious.