Sunday, April 25, 2010

Conquering Kale.

On Friday evening after work I picked up my latest CSA share at Silverlake Farms. This week the share included fresh chamomile, celery, red romaine, arugula, kohlrabi, turnips, beets, russian kale, swiss chard, radishes, garlic and some fruit, oranges, tangerines and loquats. I've never had a loquat before and they were super delicious. Best compared to a cross between an asian pear and an apricot, this sweet stone fruit makes delectable jam (or so I'm told) and I think they would be a beautiful addition to any salad with walnuts and crumbled gorgonzola.

So this morning I decided to face one contender in the ring. For quite a while now, I've heard about the extreme benefits of kale and most importantly how many people enjoy the dark, leafy green. My only experience cooking with kale (it was curly kale) didn't turn out so well and I hate to admit it, but I consciously put that green out of my mind.

With a bunch of red russian kale in my CSA share this week, I decided to do a lil' homework and take on this lean mean green! Upon reading through several recipes for kale, I nailed down the key factor as to why my first kale experience didn't turn out as I had hoped - I didn't cook it long enough. Having thumbed through many magazines and books, I opted to turn 1/2 of my kale into a hearty and healthy breakfast. I sauteed some onion in olive oil and added some minced fresh garlic (from my CSA share). Then I added the chopped kale and about 1/2 c. of chicken stock (you could just use water, but I wanted to add as much flavor as possible). I wilted the kale in the poaching liquid until it almost evaporated for about 5-10 minutes, then I added another 1/2 c. of chicken stock. Repeat instructions above and voila - vibrant, sweet and tender kale. While the kale was wilting away in its happy juice, I fried an egg and made a piece of toast. Piled that egg on top of my kale and began my day with super duper Punky GREEN power! No longer afraid of this green, I am excited to see what else I can do with the rest of my stash.

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