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What should I do with kale?

I just received my first box from an organic produce delivery service, and included is a bunch of kale. I confess that I don't venture into the cooking greens section of the market much, and don't know the first thing about cooking kale. We are roasting a chicken for dinner tomorrow, and thought that I might serve the kale on the side. Does anybody have any suggestions for how to prepare it?

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    1. re: steeltowngrl

      Do they need a long slow cook like collard greens, or will it be fast like spinach.

      1. re: Megiac

        In my experience, just a bit longer than spinach. I usually cook until the center stalky part becomes tender, the rest of the leaf will cook just like spinach. You can cut the center piece out. I happen to like the texture, but it can be a bit tough.

        1. re: steeltowngrl

          you can also cut the stalk out and sautee with your garlic/onion for a bit, then add the chopped leaves, so both are more tender when you serve them. i like the stalks too. i've never seen the bumper sticker TonyO is talking about below. i want one, though!

          1. re: steeltowngrl

            I usually blanch the kale in boiling salted water, then drain it well and saute' it with garlic. It makes it cook more evenly I think.

          2. re: Megiac

            I like cooking kale long and slow, so it gets really reduced and a bit caramelized. Here's a great recipe:

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/28278...

            Kale and Potato soup is great, too - search Epicurious.com for kale soup recipes.

            Enjoy your kale!

            Anne

        2. I make a very simple soup. Since I usually cook as I go, this a guess at the recipe. Just alter it to your taste.

          Ginger Curry Kale Soup

          1/2 pound fresh ginger root, grated with peel
          7 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
          2 L of water
          1 bunch kale, rinsed and slightly chopped
          1 tble Curry powder
          1 tbls extra virgin olive oil
          3 tble Braggs
          Tofu, cut into cubes

          In a large soup pot sweat the garlic and ginger in the oil on medium heat. Be sure not to burn the garlic. Add 4 cups of water and curry- bring to boil...add more water.

          Add the kale and Braggs- allow to wilt. Stir in tofu.

          I let the soup brew for an hour to let the flavors release. All ingredients can be altered to your taste. I like a very strong ginger and curry flavor...so I add more as I go till I like the flavor.

          This is a light soup, rich in flavor and nutrients. Very low in soduim, fat and calories.

          1. This is not a recipe for a side dish, but there is a well-know Portuguese soup called "Caldo Verde" which uses kale (or other greens). Is is a simple, hearty soup that contains linguica (chourica), onions, very thinly slicked kale, potatos and/or white beans. I have also made it using collards and it came out very good.

            8 Replies
            1. re: NE_Elaine

              I second NE Elaine's suggestion. Kale soup, aka caldo verde, is a southeastern New England staple. Here's but one of many versions:

              http://www.leitesculinaria.com/recipe...

              1. re: marachino

                i make the soup with kale ,as well as collard, swiss chard what ever is on sale i mix it all yummmmo

                1. re: marachino

                  This sounds amazing! I am going to try it this weekend.

                  1. re: marachino

                    First thing I thought when I saw the title of the thread was Portuguese Kale Soup, aka Caldo Verde. Delicious. Let us know how yours turns out.

                    1. re: marachino

                      OK. A question about the chourico: If I am unable to find it, is chorizo an acceptable substitute? Would I want to buy dried links or fesh made chorizo?

                      1. re: Megiac

                        I use linguica with kale and cannellini beans a lot and they go great together. I think that it has a similar favor profile to chourizo.

                        1. re: Megiac

                          use any dried sausage if chorizo is not available. i use smoked itailian sausage all the time...works great, so does keilbassa. but fresh is not ideal...comes out too greasy...use dried or smoked. the kale is the best part of the soup...the sausage is just the flavouring.

                        2. re: marachino

                          I third NE Elaine's suggestion! Didnot click on marachino's link but it sure is tasty. If you cant get portugese or mexican sausage use italian sweet or spicy,

                      2. For an asian flair saute with dark sesame oil, toss with a little with soy sauce, and spinkle with toasted sesame seeds before serving. Optional: garlic; chili flakes. I used to cook the center stalk, slicing across very thinly first, but these days I cut them out and save for stock.

                        1. This recipe is surprisingly fast, easy and tasty, and I am not a kale lover. But I really enjoy it!

                          http://goneraw.com/recipes/6-Avocado-...

                          1. This is tasty
                            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                            For some reason kale is the only green I don't love in the simple garlic/olive oil prep.

                            1. Rip the leaves up into pieces, toss them with olive oil & salt... and throw them in the grill basket. Grill over high heat for 5ish minutes, tossing the kale once or twice- delicious!!!!

                              1. Like you, I got it from the co-op, then had to figure out what to do with it! The suggestion for sauteeing w/garlic is good; you can make pesto with it, but I haven't tried that yet. This is our favorite thing to do with it: a lentil/sausage soup that's just delicious. We double this recipe.

                                1. The link to that recipe: http://www.mariquita.com/recipes/kale.... It's Lentil, Kale, and Sausage Soup.

                                  1. Even as we speak I'm eating a nice helping of kale chopped and braised with onions and bacon and a little chicken broth - brown some chopped bacon, add coarsely chopped onion and cook until onion is brown and caramelized. Add chopped kale and a little chicken broth or water, cover and cook until the center rib part is tender. It reheats well, and also is good with ham or something like kielbasa or other smoky sausage.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: sheiladeedee

                                      I have recipes for kale and potato soup, and kale and white bean soup (Tassajara and Greens cookbooks, sort of similar but very good). Both have a bit of crushed hot red pepper in them. When I am doing something quick, I just cut out the central veins and saute in garlic, An old but good macrobiotic recipe says, saute the cut leaves (sans veins) in garlic and oil briefly, then add a mixture of 1/3 water with a few dashes of soy sauce mixed in. Cover and steam just till cooked through (not gray & limp).

                                    2. Remove the center rib and stuff and steam.

                                      Deep fry a small whole leaf--use as garnish (comes out really, really cool).

                                      1. It goes really well in hearty soup/stew dishes. My fave is to add it to a white bean and chorizo soup. Chop up some chorizo, saute till fat is rendered, remove chorizo from pot. In the oil, saute some garlic and onion, then add cubed potatoes and white beans. Add stock and some thyme, cook till potatoes are done. Return chorizo to the pan with some chopped up kale. When kale is done to your liking, you're done.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Kagey

                                          I've been enjoying a salad I make of raw lacinato kale. Take one bunch kale, cut the leaf ribs out, and chiffonnade the leaves; chop to dice them fairly small. Toss them with some ricotta salata cut into a small dice and a sesame-ginger-soy-mirin dressing. Add toasted sesame seeds.