Kale is abundant in many gardens right now. It’s a type of cabbage with firm, curly leaves that do not form a head. It is usually deep green or purple, and is more closely related to wild cabbage than other popular varieties.
Through much of history, kale was among the most commonly grown vegetables throughout Europe. Because it was highly nutritious and easy to grow, the British government encouraged citizens to grow kale during World War II to make up for nutrients potentially lost due to rationing because of rationing.
Kale is a rich source of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, and calcium. It has also been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The leaves, with stems removed, can be used in the same way as other leafy greens, such as cabbage or spinach, including in salads, soups, stir-fries, or pasta dishes.
Because kale is firmer in texture than most other greens, it can add much-needed texture to some recipes, even when cooked.
Kale can simply be thrown into a freezer bag in-season for use throughout the year. In fact, some say freezing enhances the plant’s flavor.
It can easily be substituted into recipes that call for spinach or other greens.
Try this tasty kale recipe, or experiment with it on your own!
1 1/2 pounds young kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until soft. Raise heat to high, add the broth and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar. Top with dried cranberries and pine nuts.