I love kale. Not to be cool…I just really do. It’s super good for you AND it’s easy to grow.
Because it’s easy to grow, if you join a CSA or any sort of fresh food co-op, you are bound to end up with kale. If you buy kale locally, it should be fairly inexpensive. It’s a great frugal food that packs a huge amount of health benefits into a serving.
When you buy kale, it should look like this:
Nice and green. Firm and crisp. Not wilty or yellow. Not slimy and dark green.
So, here’s the thing a lot of people don’t like about kale. That crispness the leaves have can be quite tough and bitter. There’s a couple of tricks to make it not so chewy and bitter.
1. Massage It – Yep, like a real massage. Strip the leafy bits from the center stems or use a sharp knife to slice around the stems. Instead of massage oil, sprinkle a teaspoon of salt into a bowl of your cut up kale and just pretend it’s someone you love, who had a long, hard day at work and needs your tender,loving fingers caressing the pain and stress away. Get in there and really rub and pinch and poke. When you’re massaging, you’ll notice juices being released and the kale becoming tender. That’s perfect. That’s what you want to happen. It doesn’t take long to get to this point…just a few minutes. From there, you can use it as is raw or in a recipe you’ll cook. And because I understand completely that some people learn best by seeing it done : Video of a woman desteming and massaging kale
2. Blanch It – Boil water. Put your kale in and cook for just a few minutes. Literally, 3 minutes. Strain it into a colander . Transfer to a boil with ice water and let sit for a couple of minuter. Then strain again. And for the see-it-done learners: visual
Now you’re ready to put that kale into a salad or some other recipe.
Like Kale Chips! I hear those can be expensive if you buy them. DIY Kale Chips will probably spare you a bunch of crappy additives and preservatives,too. Also: It’s totally fine to use regular salt instead of sea salt.
My favorite way to cook kale as a side-dish is to saute it in olive oil ….and then I add chopped up bacon. Now, I said this one evening on a bus coming home packed with Cornellians and those who overheard me either gasped at the horror of such a thing or laughed because they thought I was using hipster wit (also known as irony). I was not joking. My dearest Faux-Hubby cooks it in a similar way but with garlic…lots of it. My son works in a natural grocery/deli and makes a kale salad that is deeee-licious….just a base of kale with sliced beets ,feta, and a nice vinaigrette.
More kale ideas!
The Incredible Edible Green: 15 Kale recipes