A staple of veggie boxes and local food companies as well as Farmers Markets, curly kale is recently becoming more prominent in the supermarket. It has been grown in Great Britain for centuries and was once a frequent nutritious addition to the dinner plate. in the 50s and 60s. So as a nation we seem to have lost the knowledge of how to cook curly kale – but the good news is, it seems to be coming back. Sales have rocketed in the last couple of years – and a good thing too!
Kale is packed full of vitamins, iron and calcium and tastes delicious. It couldn’t be easier to cook as it just requires steaming, boiling or stir frying although it is great added to pasta dishes, risottos, stews and soups. You can use it wherever you may have used spinach or cabbage.
Nutritious, tasty, low cost and versatile, curly kale is a great staple vegetable, that can be added to pasta, risottos, soups and stews
Kale is low cost. 250g is more than generous for four people for less than £1 being about £3.00 a kilo for organic kale from farmers markets. Generally it is more expensive in supermarkets than at market stalls or green grocers.
I know I had rarely encountered kale until I had a vegetable box delivered for a while a few years ago when kale came nearly every week! At least that gave me the opportunity to learn to cook curly kale in different ways.
Kale is best eaten within 3 days or so as it will start to go yellow and wilt – although kept in a bag in the fridge it can last for a week or more. It is certainly worth trying, if only for all its natural health benefits but it can be very delicious too
How To Cook Curly Kale
Similar to purple sprouting broccoli, it does not feature well in celebrity chefs’ cooking books. It’s odd that these low cost, tasty and nutritious vegetables have lost their status in the high street and in the restaurants and with celebrity chefs, especially when they are so delicious and versatile!
Remove any tough stalks and chop down some of the bigger leaves. Place in boiling water for 5 minutes or until wilted down and soft. Drain thoroughly. Dress with soy sauce if liked.
Prepare as above and steam for 5-6 minutes
Stir fry in sesame oil for 5 minutes. Add some sesame seeds and/or soy sauce
Serve as a vegetable to any main dish. Delicious alongsside purple sprouting broccoli
Stir into a risotto, add to a vegetable mix with pasta, tasty in a Spanish omlette or try this Rice With Kale Recipe
The following recipe is from the Exeter Steiner School cookbook, contributed by Linscombe Farm near Exeter. You can obtain a opy of the book from firstname.lastname@example.org for £2.50 including p & p
Cheesy Kale Bake
- 1kg / 2lb potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 340g /12oz kale, cut up and tough stalks remove
- knob butter
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- splash milk
- 225g/8oz carrots, peeled and sliced
- 175g /6oz mature cheddar, grated
- Cook the potatoes in boiled slated water for 15-20 minutes until tender
- Cook the kale in a lttle boiling water for 10 minutes (or steam over the potatoes)
- Mash the potatoes adding butter and milk
- Stir in the kale
- Cook the onions an dcarrots on boiling salted water
- Put half the potato and kale mix in a baking dish
- Cover with onion, carrot and 2/3 of the cheese
- Spread the remaining potato and kale mix on top
- Sprinkle with the remaining cheese
- Bake in the oven at 200 degrees C for 20 minutes
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