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Kale? [split from SF Bay]

I love turnips, but what do you do to make kale palatable?

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  1. large onion, chopped
    1 head garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
    1 large carrot, chopped
    2-3 hot peppers, chopped
    1 large or 2 small andouille sausages, halved or quartered lengthwise, then sliced 1/4" thick
    1 large can Swanson's chicken broth (or 1 quart homemade)
    1 cup Pomi tomato chunks or chopped Italian tomatoes
    2 bunches kale, spines removed, coarsely chopped
    olive oil

    Saute first four ingredients in olive oil until onion is transparent. Add andouille and saute for a few minutes. Add the broth and tomato and bring to a boil. Add kale, turn heat to very low, simmer until done, stirring occasionally. Serve with crusty bread to dunk in the pot liquor.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Pretty much exactly what I do, except I use a ham hock my butcher smokes, add a can of rinsed and well-drained cannellini beans, spoon the mixture over a piece of nicely toasted, good bread, and top with a soft-boiled/poached egg and a snowstorm of reggiano.

      1. re: Spot

        The trouble is if you need to add ham and bacon to greens, you're counteracting many of the health benefits of eating them. Which incidentally is why I don't eat beans; because I only like them when they're masked by sausage.

        1. re: Windy

          Vegetable dishes flavored with pork products are easier to fit into a balanced, healthy diet than hunks of meat.

          My recipe is plenty healthy. Andouille is lean sausage, there's virtually no fat in it, hence the olive oil. Two small sausages is six ounces, less than an ounce per serving.

              1. re: lidia

                Actually, and I'm not trying to refute the information in your link lidia, I just got this list on fats last week from someone I know who is a registered dietician...so this chart is very much from a health and nutrition perspective and I just thought I'd offer it also:

        2. What is it about kale that you do not like? Taste? Texture?

          1 Reply
          1. re: monavano

            I can't speak for Kim, but a common problem with kale is just chopping them up without removing the fibrous spines, so you either end up with overcooked greens or gross, chewy chunks of fiber.

          2. Treat it like collard greens. Generally, it's not as versatile to my preferences (especially because it's often sold before it has experienced a good frost, which improves its flavor noticeably), but you can chiffonade it coarsely and use it as soup greens.

            1. If you don't like kale today, be sure to start with kale from a farmers' market, when it's freshest. A few ideas:

              Dino kale chips: spray oil (I use a can from TJs) then put in a 350 degree oven 15 minutes until toasty. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if you like.

              Dino kale salad (I used to get this at the Whole Foods salad bar): cut up raw with red onion, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, lemon. WF adds avocado. A friend uses orange slices. Let it marinade 20 minutes before eating.

              Tomatoes as noted in Robert's recipe are a good addition to kale because they balance the bitterness. I make a pasta dish with chopped kale, sauteed onion, black olives, and tomatoes (fresh, canned, or sun-dried) and then stir in whole wheat pasta. The original recipe was in Mark Bittman's excellent Food Matters, which focuses on how to increase fiber and whole grains without sacrificing flavor.

              And of course caldo verde, Portuguese soup with kale, chicken broth, sausage, and potatoes cooked and mashed into the pot. Joy of Cooking has a nice recipe.

              Chard was an easier sell for me at first. It's milder and more spinach like. But I've come around to kale, and it's so good for you.

              1. I found bags of baby kale at Costco a couple of days ago. I wilted some of them a little in a skillet with butter and garlic, and mixed lightly with cooked black eyed peas. The baby kale was very good. The only other time I had kale, I sauteed onions in olive oil, and then added chicken broth and coarsely chopped kale. I braised until I thought it was done. I like to top greens with grated cheese, or add bacon bits while they cook.

                I admit I've never cooked turnip greens, but I do like mustard greens.

                2 Replies
                1. re: sueatmo

                  Mustard greens are really delicious. But then so is anything related to mustard.

                  1. re: Windy

                    For me its the peppery flavor. They aren't bland. I like them mixed with spinach too.

                2. Get a pan screaming hot. Pour in a tiny bit of evoo and dump kale in. Toss around until you see some parts of the kale blacken. Lower heat, add more evoo and chopped garlic and chili flakes and toss around some more.

                  Once the garlic is fragrant add some chicken stock and cover and boil until stock is gone. Cook until it's as tender as you prefer. (I like mine with a little crunch) Finish with pepper and grated parm.

                  No way you can not like this. Also works with just about any hearty green, fabulous with broccoli rabe.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: joonjoon

                    Hey Joonjoon,
                    I add garbanzo beans to this medley and lottsa fresh pepper. Sometimes I toss in some tomato. Then when you add on the parme it's really great.

                    1. re: escargot3

                      They both sound like excellent additions! I think it would also go well with some canbellini beans.

                    2. re: joonjoon

                      this is exactly what i do, except i add lots of rosemary with the garlic, and cannelini beans

                    3. The kind of kale does matter. If it's dinosaur kale (tuscan kale), this is terrific:


                      Portuguese kale soup is good for the usual curly kale.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: sr44

                        It works suprisingly weel as a spinach replacement in gomae. cut the big ribs out, wash and cut into bite-ish size pieces, blanche in boiling water then shock, drain thouroughly and mix with gomae dressing.

                        Also like kale chips. devein and toss with favorite oil (i like many including grape seed, olive, peanut etc.) and a very small amount of salt, flavored or plain. it takes very very little. Then pop them in the dehydrator till crispy. I don't really like them done in the oven.

                        Cheers and good luck.

                        1. re: Jzone

                          Great idea re gomae. Kale and sesame are meant for each other. I've been sprinkling my kale chips with rice seasoning from Japantown that contains nori, bonito flakes, sesame, and salt.

                        2. re: sr44

                          How well kale works raw in salad depends on how young the plant is. As the plants get older, the spines become inedible. As the leaves get tougher, it can help to briefly blanch them or wilt them with a hot dressing.

                          In restaurants I've had some great kale salads where they salted, rinsed, and dried the leaves, so they were wilted but not cooked.

                        3. Pan-fried Corona Beans & Kale
                          A few notes related to the recipe - be sure to wash the kale well, so you don't end up with grit in your beans. I use dried beans (that I've cooked myself) here, and would highly recommend using them over canned beans - they brown up better and are less likely to go to mush. I used giant corona beans, but you could use runner cannellini, or something similar. I like the white beans because they take on a lot of color in the pan. Alternate recipe - I'm confident you could do this preparation with gnocchi (don't boil the gnocchi first) in place of the beans.

                          1/2 bunch / 6 oz / 170 g dino kale or lacinato kale, remove stems
                          2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
                          2 - 3 big handfuls of cooked large white beans (see head notes)
                          1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
                          1/3 cup / 1 1/2 oz / 45 g walnuts, lightly toasted
                          1 clove garlic, minced
                          1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
                          scant 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
                          zest of 1 lemon
                          1/3 cup / 1/2 oz / 15 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

                          Finely chop the kale, wash it, and shake off as much water as you can. Set aside.
                          Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in the widest skillet you own. Add the beans in a single layer. Stir to coat the beans, then let them sit long enough to brown on one side, about 3 or 4 minutes, before turning to brown the other side, also about 3 or 4 minutes. The beans should be golden and a bit crunchy on the outside.
                          Add the kale and salt to the pan and cook for less than a minute, just long enough for the kale to lose a bit of its structure. Stir in the walnuts and garlic, wait 10 seconds, then stir in the nutmeg. Wait ten seconds and stir in the lemon juice and zest. Remove from heat and serve dusted with Parmesan cheese.
                          Serves 2 - 4.
                          101 Cookbooks http://www.101cookbooks.com/

                          1. Kale is delicious. It is on the opposite end of spinach in the greens directory, holding up very well to heat and being a bit tough. Flavor (at least all varieties I have tried) is sweet and refreshing, never bitter.

                            Here is a very basic recipe, that I make practically every other day (works also with collards, beet tops, chard...)

                            Slice up your Kale into thin strips and then a couple of times across.

                            Put about 1 Tb of good-quality olive oil, or a little more, simmering over medium-high, and add a clove (or two!) of minced garlic. Let it cook for just a minute, and then throw in the kale, turning to cover it in garlic and oil.

                            Throw the lid on the pot (or skillet), and mix up the following liquid:

                            1 - 2 Tb tamari (I suppose soy sauce would work)
                            1 tsp dijon mustard
                            plus water or chicken broth, up to 1/4 cup depending on how "Saucy" you like your greens. I use the chicken broth paste they sell in jars and add water. Be careful not to overdo it or you will get super salty greens.

                            Throw the liquid onto the now-wilting greens, stir up, and cook until they are the texture you like. For Kale, I like to go about 5 - 6 minutes. Greens like spinach need much less.

                              1. Ethiopian Stewed greens http://www.betumi.com/2009/07/recipes...
                                Saag Indian Spiced Greens http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/sarson-d... just sub Kale for Mustard Greens

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: chefj

                                  or better yet, buy mustard greens.

                                  1. Two REALLY easy things:

                                    ---Kale Chips: Wash, dry, cut into 2" x 2" pieces, discarding stems/central veins. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and toss. put on a baking sheet, salt lightly, and bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until lightly crisp.

                                    ---Sauteed Kale: Wash, dry, and roughly chop, discarding stems/central veins. Heat a bit of butter in a skillet. Throw in the kale and toss to coat. Salt it a bit. Cook gently over ML heat, tossing occasionally. Throw in some chopped walnuts after a few minutes. I don't know how long I cook it for; about 15 minutes, perhaps.