Tuesday, May 31, 2011

in which kale becomes your friend

Most people think kale must be awful and hard and bitter. I don't know why, although I once thought this too (before I tried it). Perhaps it's the dark green, crazy-curl leaves. Maybe it's the fact that we also use it for ornamental planting (thus eating it is like eating your Christmas tree or a cactus). Maybe it's just the sound of the name. Kale sounds like shale, which is a rock, and it begins with a very hard "k." But many beloved foods have similar names. We don't scoff at cake, or ale, which share sounds in common. Haddock and smelt are perfectly well-accepted even if they sound like the punchline to potty jokes. Oh kale, why art thou reviled so grievously?

Kale, if you have not tried it, tastes kind of like broccoli. It's milder than Brussels sprouts and springier (but NOT tougher) than lettuce. It can be eaten raw or cooked. It's easy to grow around here. It is lovely.

I concocted this simple warm kale salad last night, and loved it so much that I cooked it again tonight. I served it up with some baked yam cubes. These are seasoned with a bit of olive oil and Montreal chicken spice then baked for about half an hour at 400 on a cookie sheet. Cookie. Now that has two hard "k" sounds but we don't think of cookies as tough or bitter. Perhaps it's because they rhyme with nookie, so we think they must be equally delightful.

Warm Kale Salad with Pumpkin Seeds and Feta

about 1/2 cup of sliced or chopped red onion
about 1/2 cup of chopped red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 big leaves of kale washed and ripped into chunks (about 6 cups loose measure)
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup toasted unsalted pumpkin seed kernels
olive oil

Warm the olive oil in a large skillet or wok. Saute the onion and pepper for a minute. Add the kale and garlic. Saute 2 or 3 minutes longer, until kale brightens in colour and looks shiny and cooked (just). Toss in the pumpkin seed kernels and mix through.

Serve garnished with feta cheese.
Serves 2 people for supper, 4 as a side dish.

Cook that, eat it up, and tell me that kale is anything less than wonderful. You will love it so much you might even name your first born child Kale (if it's a boy) or Kaley (if it's a girl).

question: do you like kale?

mompoet - please try it before you decide

1 comment:

Carol said...

O Mompoet. I like kale too.

This recipe of yours sounds yummy.