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Feb 26, 2008 09:34 AM

Stringy Kale

Hi there,

I wonder if anyone has an idea about this... A couple of weeks ago, I made Cook's Illustrated (the "Soup & Stews" special edition) Caldo Verde recipe, and it worked out great even if I changed it a bit. It used only the leaf part of the kale, and since it was the first time I cooked with the green, I thought it was a shame to spoil all the stems, so I chopped rather finely the stems (maybe 1/4 inch) and put it in the stew at least half an hour before the leaves. I loved it, the stems had the crunchy texture of cooked celery.
I did the recipe again yesterday, but this time I wasn't as lucky. Any idea why? I have noticed that the bunch of kale I used yesterday consisted of branches of leaves attached together rather than separated leaves like the last time. Could that have to do with it?

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  1. What kinds of kale did you use?

    1. There are several varieties of kale, and some require different cooking prep and times.
      I cook kale in my regular rotation of greens and never had a problem with stringyness.... using the stems as well as the leaves. Mostly I braise it though.
      Perhaps the second bunch you cooked was old???

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gio

        My french canadian grocer called it borecole, but judging by the glossary, it was green kale. It suggests not to use the stems when more than 1/8 inch thick, I think I will follow that advice... Thanks!

        1. re: Soufi

          You're Welcome! When I use that kale I destem if they are large and also tear the leaves away from the veins, much as one do in prepping spinach.