How to Eat More Kale
I joined Team Kale this morning.
"Come to Vermont and we'll show you... kale is a vegetable, chicken is a bird"
Governor Shumlin launched Team Kale this morning to stand up for the leafy green, our local farms, and our small business owners. Awesome.
How many of our nation's 50 governors would 1) know what kale even is? let alone 2) have ever eaten kale? (If you're haven't heard the back story here, read the Seven Days story about it here.)
Vermont's kale adorating culture is in good company. I read on Wikipedia this afternoon that, "in north-western Germany.... most social clubs... will have a Grünkohlfahrt ("kale tour") sometime between October and February, visiting a country inn to consume large quantities of boiled kale. Most communities in the area have a yearly kale festival which includes naming a "kale king" (or queen)...In Scotland, kale provided such a base for a traditional diet that the word in dialect Scots is synonymous with food. To be "off one's kail" is to feel too ill to eat."
Want to join Vermont's Team Kale? You can help the legal effort by contributing cash and getting the hotest selling t-shirt in the state. You can also, of course, eat more kale. Here's how:
This recipe was invented by Edmunds Middle School students in 2005. Versions of this are now served in the Burlington schools!
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 onions (chopped)
4 Tablespoon garlic (chopped)
3 Cups water
2 cans diced tomatoes (28 ounces each)
2 carrots (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
2 celery stalks (chopped)
1 zucchini (medium, chopped)
1 can garbanzo beans (rinsed)
2 Cups kale (finely chopped)
1 Cup parsley (fresh, chopped)
1 Teaspoon oregano (dried)
1 Teaspoon basil (dried)
1⁄4 Teaspoon black pepper
1 Cup elbow or shell noodles
6 Tablespoons tomato paste
Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the water, diced tomatoes, carrots, pepper, celery, zucchini, kale, garbanzo beans, parlsey, oregano, basil, and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add the uncooked noodles and simmer for 10 minutes or until the noodles are al dente. (You may need to add more water). Just before serving add 6 tablespoons tomato paste. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Potato, Kale and Blue Cheese Gratin
4 potatoes, medium, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups kale stems removed
1 onion, sliced
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1⁄4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
Place potatoes in cold water and bring to boil. Boil until just barely done (5-10 minutes). Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet. Add onions and cook on medium heat 3-4 minutes. Add garlic. Turn heat to low and cook 3-4 minutes more. Drain potatoes and remove onion/garlic mixture from skillet. In same skillet, 1 tablespoon butter, add the potatoes and brown on med heat. Chop the kale and cook in boiling water until tender (3-5 minutes). Drain. Mix eggs, 2 tabespoons water, blue cheese, salt, and chives in a bowl. Add kale and onion/garlic mix to potatoes in skillet, turn heat to low. Add egg/cheese mixture after pan has cooled to low. Mix and cover pan. Let sit on low heat for at least 5 minutes. When ready to serve, remove cover and turn up heat for a couple minutes.
Localvore Massaged Kale Salad
1 bunch kale
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1⁄4 cup olive oil (or try local sunflower oil)
1 clove garlic (peeled)
1 apple (1 small or 1/2 large, diced)
black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)
Remove stems from kale, cut or tear into large pieces, and place in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and olive oil and gently massage into kale for a few minutes with your fingers. Add vinegar and garlic and massage a few more minutes, until kale is wilted. Finally, add apple and ground black pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve, or add any of the optional additions. (disclaimer: I almost never measure the ingredients when I make this – it’s a very flexible recipe that is easy to adjust on the fly). If you don’t mind using some non-local ingredients, try any of these additions: sunflower seeds, dried currants, cherries, or raisins.
Massaged Kale Salad with Asian-Style Peanut Dressing
1 nice big bunch curly green kale, raw
1 peach (or apple)
1/4 cup pepitas, toasted
¼ cup feta cheese
for the dressing:
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbs. plain yogurt
4 tsp. fresh ginger
4 tsp. sesame oil
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbs. peanut butter
2 tsp. chili-garlic sauce
1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
Throw all the dressing ingredients into a blender or Cuisenart and puree until smooth. Rip or chop the kale into nice bite-size pieces. Drizzle the dressing over top of the kale until it is nicely moistened, but not so much that it pools in the bottom of the bowl (you’ll probably have more dressing than you need for 1 batch of the recipe). Using your hands, massage the kale for 2-3 minutes until it is bright green and slightly softened. Dice the peach into nice sized chunks and sprinkle overtop. Add the pepitas and small chunks of feta cheese. Don’t toss the salad before serving – the peach, pepitas and feta cheese fall to the bottom and the presentation is much more beautiful if they are layered on top of the green kale.