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Fresh Kale: Ideas??

  • p

Hi! I bought a big bag of beautiful fresh kale leaves at the farmer's market yesterday.

Aside from adding some to a soup, or sauteeing with olive oil and a fresh green onion, does anyone have ideas for a tasty dish?
Quick and simple prep ideas especially welcomed. I have Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone: any favorites from there?
Thanks, p.j.

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  1. My first thought was Portugese kale and chorizo soup! Aside from that, I'd make some good old fashioned southern greens.

    1. Go Irish...make colcannon. Go to the following website...


      3 Replies
      1. re: ChiliDude

        Thanks, ChiliDude, for the reference. I followed it to some other interesting recipes!

        We keep a kosher kitchen, so I won't be using pork sausage/chorizo.
        Actually, sauteed kale with some of the Neshama brand Moroccan sausages sounds delicious!
        Take care, p.j.

        1. re: p.j.

          Can you find kosher chorizo? Here in Montréal I buy a lovely chicken-based one, but unfortunately the butcher's isn't kosher any more (it used to be - Zinmans).

          Nowadays there are a lot of tasty alternatives to pork sausage available, and not a few are kosher or halal. Hopefully this offer will increase with time. Indeed, delicious with kale.

          Kale is EXTREMELY nutritious - a superfood.

          1. re: p.j.

            If you have access to a Kosher butcher or meat cutter, get some chuck roast and grind it yourself or have it ground. You can add the spices to the meat yourself thus creating a variation of chorizo. I assume since the chuck is from the shoulder that the ingestion of it is allowed by Kasruth dietary laws. As far as I know, there are no spices that are considered trafe.

            L'chiam and buon appetito (my wife is of Italian heritage)

        2. I like to saute garlic and shallots (or sweet white or yellow onions) in olive oil, then add the kale, let it cook just a bit, then add a bit of chicken or vegetable broth to it. Some like to cook it way down, I like it with a bit of a crunch still. You can do this with the leaves large and eat it just so, or, chop the leaves before you saute it, add some herbs as it cooks (such as chopped parsley, thyme, and/or sage) and then toss it with fresh pasta for a wonderful pasta dish.

          I also love to add kale (or chard or spinach) to a pot of white beans. I can give you a great recipe for white bean stew if you like.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tom P

            I'd be interested in your white bean stew - I just got a big bunch of dino kale in my CSA box this week and have never cooked with it before! TIA

            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              Do you have a general description of these?

              1. re: jsaimd

                Mix ground meat (I use pork and beef, but the OP can use anything else), add lots of chopped green onion, cliantro, garlic, ginger, pepper, fresh and dried chili, fish sauce, bit of lime juice, and maybe an egg if a binder is needed. Cut the mid-stalk from each leaf, plunk in a glob of the meat mix, roll up tightly, folding in the sides to make nice packets. All into the steamer seam-side down. Steam until ready. Serve with simple sauce of more chilis, fish sauce, chives, cilantro, lime juice; or serve on a bed of sauce made of canned toamto sauce, hot homemade chili sauce, and lime juice.

                You can do the same with small green bell peppers as well.

                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  Any way to make that vegetarian? Is there a tofu version, maybe?

                  1. re: piccola

                    Use chopped up mushrooms instead of meat. Its even a Thai possibility.

            2. If you love ginger and tofu, this recipe might fit the bill...Gingered Greens with Tofu from the Moosewood cookbook...it is delicious! Instead of broiling the marinated tofu, it's easier (I think) to sear it in a hot non-stick pan...but do as you please...we keep coming back to this recipe and I've made it around 5 times now, alternating between kale and bok choy:


              2 Replies
              1. re: Val

                kinda boring, and very healthy, but it makes me very happy...

                i steam the kale (about 1 cup)
                i reheat some brown rice (particularly good with TJ Brown Rice & Black Barley Blend (with radish seeds) that i cook w/a bit of the STAR porcini mushroom broth and a tablespoon of truffle oil) (about a half cup)
                i slice some fresh tofu, which i top with my humble attempts at aji (peruvian chili and cilantro sauce) (about 3-4oz tofu; about 1 tbls of aji)
                i add a pinch of truffle salt to all
                i add nutritional yeast (about 1 tbls)

                the flavors work very well together, and it's delicious.
                i am a confirmed omnivore, but this dish makes my week sometimes.


                1. re: charlie_b

                  i like it with garlic , olive oil, hot pepper, and a small can of tomato sauce to flavor - cook till tender - u can also saute bacon first if u weren't kosher - then add the rest - but even w/o the bacon - it's my fav way to eat it

              2. I like it treated like spinach in any creamed spinahc recipe with some peas added for sweetness

                Also really good in a veggie tart or pie with lots of carmelized onion, with or without cheese.

                1 Reply
                1. re: torty

                  I sautee onion & garlic in EVOO with a few red pepper flakes, then add rinsed, chopped kale leaves ( after removing the stems)...let that simmer a few and then place on top of the leaves any seasoned white fish fillets ( generally cod here, but whatever is available fresh), cover and let simmer till fish is just opaque. It's an recipe from an old PBS TV program, Victory Garden I believe. The resulting dish is delicious. All seasoning is to taste, of course.

                2. This sounds weird, but you can make chips out of the leaves. You wash and pat them dry, spray with oil and salt, then bake on low until they're crispy. A healthy salty crunchy snack.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: piccola

                    I anxiously await my annual garden full of kale. Last summer, I braised the leaves with dried sour cherries in a bit of stock and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. I also made bruschetta with kale braised in tomatoes with their liquid and lots of garlic, topped with shaved pecorino. And sometimes, I just sauteed a bunch with garlic and olive oil. Gosh, I can't wait.

                    1. re: piccola

                      Kale chips are my favorite! The method I use comes from "Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven" - take off the stems (I chop them and put them in soup, or frittatas), wash and dry the leaves, cut them into 1" ribbons. Spray with olive oil and coarse salt, bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice.
                      It can be hard to get them just right - stir too infrequently, and parts burn (although gently burned parts are very tasty). Stir too often, and the whole pan comes out a little more steamed than toasted. When they come out right, though, they're fantastic - nutty and minerally - I've been known to eat an entire head of kale while watching tv...

                    2. Make sure you wash and drain them well. (A salad spinner helps.) A simple asian approach: Steam them almost done, then saute in a little dark sesame oil & garlic. (You can leave out the steaming, but I suggest you try them both ways and see which you prefer.) Toss in some soy sauce and top with toasted sesame seeds. If you like heat, add crushed red pepper to the oil or throw in some Thai chili paste. Avoid overcookng.

                      Most people cut out the stems. If you want to try leaving them in, make sure to cut them crossways very fine. And kale reduces a lot, so go lightly on the seasoning - especially anything salty, such as the soy.
                      I apologize if you've heard much of this before...

                      1. From the Zuni Cookbook that was book of the month a few back, I really LOVED the panade. She made it with swiss chard, but I've used kale as well. Chop up a bunch of kale, put it in a baking dish with lots of crusty bread cubes (pref. a bit stale), some swiss cheese, a bit of salt and lots of pepper. Pour some chicken stock over the whole thing and cover with foil. Bake at about 375 for a while (20 minutes?), remove the foil and let the dish cook for a few minutes longer. I'm paraphrasing here. If anybody else has the recipe, feel free to make corrections.

                        Another great kale dish is a Paula Wolfert Italian recipe (I think it's from Med. Greens and Grains) which is made up of shredded potatoes, chopped kale that has been parboiled for about 5 minutes, then drained and chopped, some sauteed onions and garlic, and some taleggio (sp) cheese grated. The idea is to make a pancake of half the potatoes by patting them into an oiled skillet.

                        Salt and pepper the potatoes. Top them with the kale mix and the cheese. Then put the rest of the potatoes on top and push down to sort of seal the "cake". Cook until browned on the bottom, then do the plate over the skillet, upend and turn over, then slide back into pan on the uncooked side. Cook until bottom is browned and cheese has completely melted. This is really, really good.

                        Kale is also great in soups - especially lentil and other bean soups.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: oakjoan

                          Can I substitute silver beet for kale in any of these recipes???

                          1. re: purple goddess

                            I think any hardy greens you like would work in any of these preps.

                        2. My favorite kale preparation comes from Vegetarian Express Lane Cooking by Sarah Fritschner:

                          Kale and Currants

                          2 T dried currants
                          1/2 c hot water
                          2-3 T chopped pine nuts or pecans
                          3 bunches kale
                          2-3 T olive oil
                          3 garlic cloves, chopped
                          1/4 c crumbled feta cheese

                          Heat oven to 350. Combine currants and 1/4 c hot water and set aside. Toast nuts in oven until fragrant. Wash kale well, trim, and shake off excess moisture. Cut into @ 1" ribbons. Heat oil in a wide skillet, add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add kale and toss. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add remaining 1/4 c water and cover. Cook until leaves are tender, 10-15 min.

                          Add currants and their soaking liquid,, tossing to evaporate most of the liquid. Add more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve sprinkled with nuts and feta. (I douse mine with red wine vinegar.)

                          I sometimes use goat cheese if I have it.

                          I could eat this for any meal, including dessert if there's any left!!

                          1. I made a kale quiche and it was great. Sautee the kale first (a little olive oil, some onion, s & p). Then mix it into your custard mixture. I used lardons in mine and that gave it a nice dimension too. I think the flavor was best when served slightly cool. A great summer lunch with a side salad.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sgwood415

                              Mmm hmm. I made a kale frittata with bacon and onion last summer and it was amazing. I also added hot pepper flakes... for some reason I like a lot of kale preparations better if they are slightly spicy.

                              Macaroni and cheese with chopped kale is also delicious -- think broccoli with cheese and you get the idea. I do it with Annie's mac and cheese for a superfast dinner. There is enough cheese sauce to sauce quite a bit of added kale to the pasta in the box. I add the chopped kale when the pasta needs a couple more minutes and then drain the whole lot before mixing in the rest of the ingredients. (Sorry, fellow Chows. Annie's mac and cheese is one of my short-cut standbys.)

                            2. A simple one I like from epicurious has you saute with a green apple and a touch of curry powder:


                              Does anyone eat it raw, like one of the reviewers of that recipe?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: julesrules

                                When kale is in season and I can buy it at the local farmers' market, I love it in salads. The grocery store stuff is a little bit too tough to eat raw, I think.

                              2. How 'bout a green smoothie? Any fruit smoothie you already like gets even better with some kale leaves in it. We just don't get enough of those dark leafy greens. Thisn is an easy way to do that.

                                1. i use kale in just about any preparation of greens, sometime alone, sometimes combined. consistent favorites in my house, depending on season:

                                  -gommae (usually blanched spinach, with sesame seed sauce, a cold Japanese dish)
                                  -collard greens (i do about 60:40 collards:kale, cooked in traditional way, the kale adds a lot of nutrition!)


                                  1. I love beans and greens. This recipe a rough paraphrase of one of Lidia Bastianich's, but you can use it as a general guideline.

                                    Cut up and par-boil a large bunch of kale. While it's cooking, saute some garlic in olive oil. Add a good tablespoon of tomato paste and some red pepper flakes to taste, and toast for a few seconds. Add a can of chopped tomatoes (I often use stewed tomatoes) and bring to a simmer. Dump in a drained can of white beans (cannellini), then the par-boiled kale. Heat thoroughly, till kale is fully cooked, and season with salt and pepper. This dish is excellent served immediately, but benefits from standing. I often serve it with a poached egg on top and some good bread. Fast, easy, nutritious, and delicious--what more could you want?

                                    1. I put kale in albondigas soup (would be just as good as a vegetarian soup w/o the meatballs):

                                      Make meatballs with 1 lb. ground beef, seasons with chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper
                                      1 large can tomato puree or diced stewed tomatoes
                                      1 box beef broth
                                      1 cup corn
                                      1 cup julienned zucchini
                                      1 chopped onion
                                      1 cup chopped kale

                                      Dump it all in a large pot and cook until meatballs are done. Season as needed with chili powder, garlic, salt, and pepper.

                                      I could also substitute it for the spinach in my tortellini soup:

                                      1 box beef broth
                                      1 cup chopped spinach or kale
                                      1 bag frozen cheese tortellini
                                      1 - 2 Tbsp chopped garlic, depending on your taste
                                      1/2 - 1 tsp red pepper flakes, depending on your taste
                                      Optional: 1 lb. beef tips, sauteed in olive oil
                                      Kosher salt to taste

                                      As with most of my soups: dump it in a large pot and cook until everything is done and tender.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: starbucksbrew

                                        I rolled spring pea, asparagus, and onion risotto right into kale. I used Dino (Tuscan) kale just because I love that but regualar kale would work. Plate on top of the kale or roll up risotto into the kale and secure with a toothpick. It will wilt the kale a little but it is great!