Monday, February 25, 2013

After the kale train has left the station

I missed the kale craze.

I mean, I was aware of it, but it annoyed me enough (phases, crazes and fleeting fashion have that effect on me) to make me duck under the kale radar and keep on doing my usual, leafy thing. The fact that I have kale growing on the roof through winter is another story!

But Mr Kim's has had these lovely bunches of narrow-leafed kale recently, posies of quilted leaves. It is Nero Toscano, lacinato, cavolo nero, dinosaur kale - all of those names, and more. I don't know whether to capitalize because the only one I've seen grown as a cultivar name is Nero Toscano. Feel free to chime in and educate me.

But it's lovely - tender enough to eat raw. So I tear it up and do just that.


  1. I am annoyed with food trends (no truffle oil if I can help it), but I got with the program......I LOVE Lacinato, Dinosaur kale and eat it all the time, in omelets, pastas, salads.
    We have our seedlings ready to if the ground would only cooperate and thaw!
    Hope you are having a happy morning. :)

  2. I got on the kale train in Charlottsville after we hiked up that mountain and it was good. Damn good. I even posted a recipe.

    Raw kale salad. How the mighty have fallen.

    Welcome aboard.

    xo jane

  3. love kale (trendy or otherwise). I grew trial patches of Tuscan, Red Russian, Portugese, and Scotch curled last year - way too much kale BTW. The only one that I won't grow again was the Portugese (meh), the rest were AMAZING - for months - even hardy kale met it's frosty match my late October here in Canada. The Tuscan is the most handsome, but Red Russian and Scotch are the yummiest. Kale is one of the most versitile edibles i've grown.


  4. The Tuscan is a handsome plant, but I find it bitter, only palatable when very young. I enjoy other greens, but not sure what the fuss is about with dino kale or arugula. (Ick!)

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  6. I did attempt to grow the dwarf kale from Botanical Interests, but it never got more than a centimeter high. I wonder what happened there . . .

    I really like the Jean-Georges Vongerichten Kale Salad with Parmesan and Lemon ( - the link goes to the recipe on Serious Eats). Though, I do admit that I have succumbed to the kale chip craze. Many times.

  7. Having grown up on Curly Kale (only) I hated the stuff, while of course, Mitchell loves it. Now .... I like the "new" kales you have mentioned, but he won't touch them - not cooked enough. And, frankly, there's only so much two-separate-meal cooking that I am willing to do.

    I may grow some this year in the garden for the looks, but sadly it won't be spending much time on my table. A shame, cause it's mighty good nutrition-wise.

  8. I covet your kale...
    Alas, kale along with brussel sprouts, chard and broccoli (any dark, leafy green vegetable) hase been banished from our home because their extraordinarily high Vitamin K content would wreak royal havoc with my husband's Coumadin dosage. Vitamin K affects the ability of the blood to clot, so has a profound affect on the efficacy of blood thinning medications.

    Prior to his heart surgery 10 years ago, these were our "go to" vegetables - chard grows like a weed here in San Francisco, and we always had it in the garden.

    Now I obsessively track down kale salad and broccoli florets outside of our home as if they were illicit drugs.

    1. My mom, after reading your comment, told me that our one corgi, Maggie,was given massive doses of Vit K after she had gotten hold of rat poison - she was bleeding internally and the vitamin was prevent blood from filling her lungs. Obviously, a terrible experience. My father, on the other hand, is more like your husband, and must avoid clotting.

      It's not a vitamin I ever think of. Thanks for pointing that out..

  9. I think that Sunset magazine just mentioned that when adding kale to a salad, remove the veins/tough bits and tear leaves into bite size pieces, put them in a bowl(add salt if you want) and massage them for a bit. Supposedly ita softens the texture. I'm addicted to roasted kale/kale chip.

  10. Such interesting kale comments. Thank you, everyone!

  11. We grew up eating kale - no one else grew it out in Idaho - don't know where my father got the seeds - maybe from someone in his Italian family in Chicago. Kale and winter squash were the last things left in the garden at the end of the season. The kale (I have no idea what variety) was eaten fresh, fried, steamed, boiled and baked in salads, casseroles (what we called fritata and quiche), soups, stews and as a side dish. I always thought of it as just another vegetable. Glad to know it was so good for me.


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