More than a Garnish

Summer’s bounty is dwindling at our local farmer’s market. Now instead of the bright and varied colors of the spring and summer crops, we have a large selection of greens to choose from. For our veggies this week I bought brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, parsnips and carrots at our local farmer’s market. I had not intended to purchase kale, but a vendor was munching away on a stalk of it and gave me some to try when he noticed me looking at him like he was from Mars. When I saw what he was eating I admit I was thinking, “Gross! Isn’t kale a garnish?”

I tried the piece he offered and, while it did not revolutionize my prior opinion of kale, it was not awful either. Mostly not to offend the vendor, I bought some kale.

Kale is more bitter-tasting than any other green vegetable I have had. It is especially pungent when raw. I was determined to actually eat the kale I purchased and not let my sympathy purchase rot in the fridge. So, tonight I followed Sally Fallon’s advice in Nourishing Traditions and took the stems off the kale, rinsed it, threw it in a covered pot, cooked on low heat for eight minutes, pressed the water out of it, and topped it with a bit of butter. Much to my surprise, it was delicious. No exaggeration, I had at least five servings of it. Cooking kale helps remove its bitter taste. If you’re looking for a more exciting way of preparing kale, the vendor at the market suggested sauteing it in olive oil or butter for a few minutes and then topping it with a bit of lemon juice.

Dark leafy green vegetables are extremely healthy (lots of iron among other nutrients). They also contain anticancer properties (always a plus in my mind). Most are easy to prepare. We usually steam them and toss them with a pat of butter. There are numerous types of greens. Next week I’m hoping to pick up some swiss chard at the market. It is amazing how many varieties of dark green leafy vegetables there are, and they all taste different from each other. This is a definite perk considering we will probably be eating mostly greens till the spring crops come in at our area farms. Hopefully by the end of the season, I’ll have a nice collection of tried and true, delicious greens recipes to share!

* This post is shared on Real Food Wednesday.

5 thoughts on “More than a Garnish

  1. rowleyfour says:

    Hey Grace! Its been a long time, but I really enjoy your blog. Another great way to use kale – kale chips! Remove stems and break it into bite-sized pieces, spritz it with olive oil and a bit of salt, and bake it up. Mmm good 🙂 Its also good in quiche (as long as you cook it first) and one of my favorite Moosewood recipes – African peanut pineapple stew. I miss CSA’s and kale in particular.

  2. Nicola says:

    I have recently been introduced to kale too & we love it. In this country, it is pretty much considered fodder for animals so I had never tried it until I came across it at the farmer’s market. I only received Nourishing Traditions in the mail yesterday so have alot of reading to do there. Good to know that recipe for kale is in there. I normally saute the kale in a small bit of oil (I use olive but I imagine the results are similar with other veggie oils), spinkle in a little sea salt. The kale goes crunchy and is just divine. My 6 year old asked for 2nd’s and piled her plate high & ate it all.

  3. Paula says:

    A good way to use kale and not notice it is in smoothies. Seriously, steam them, and freeze it into an ice cube tray. Add one cube to your smoothie before blending. My very picky husband wll drink a smoothie w/kale in it and not taste it.

    Sauteed kale is really good with soft fried eggs over it for breakfast.

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