I'm preparing a raw kale ceasar for a large group this weekend. I bought a few giant bags of kale at the farmer's market on Weds, and last night when I went to prep it, I realized that quite a bit of it had gone bad, most likely due to the heat and humidity in my apartment. I threw away the rotting leaves stems and leaves, salvaged the ones that still looked good, washed and dried them and now have them all in paper towel lined bins in the refrigerator. It seems to me that as long as these leaves stay fresh I should be able to use them on Saturday. But some of the people who helped me to do all of this still think it might be risky. Does anyone here have thoughts on this? Is there a real health risk, or is it just that the folks who smelled the rotting kale yesterday might find the thought of eating rest unappetizing?
It should be fine, really, but I'd go ahead and buy fresher kale. I eat less than fresh produce to not waste it, but I'd never serve it to guests.
No risk. I mean, how often do we hear about people getting sick from eating spoiled vegetables? For me, never. It's obvious when it's time to toss it out, and the sickness we do hear about is when the produce was contaminated (not the case here unless the farmer sold you something funky, which probably wasn't the case and wouldn't matter too much after the washing and drying).
If you noticed any mold, I might suggest starting over with new kale. If it was just wilted and browned and a bit slimy, you should be fine with the unaffected parts, just rinsed off.
Of course, that image is stuck in your guests' heads, and no amount of logical justification will get it out.
I think your biggest risk is increased bitterness in flavor rather than spoilage that would cause any foodborne illness.