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KALE SEASON

 

by Jennifer A. Wickes - Other Articles by Jennifer

See also: Kale Facts & Trivia; Kale Cooks Tips

KALE (Recipes below)

History / Geography
Kale has been cultivated over 2000 years and probably originated from the Mediterranean region of the world. Despite its hot origin, kale grows better in colder climates and is very popular in Northern and Eastern Europe, especially Scotland.

Science
Kale is a part of the cabbage family, Brassica Oleracea.

    Varieties
    There are numerous varieties and colors.

    Season
    December to February.

    How to Select
    Kale has frilly leaves with a deep green color and a possible tinge of purple on its leaves. Avoid yellow, limp leaves.

    Preparation
    Wash in cold water to remove all the sand and dirt. Remove the stalk before cutting.
    Kale can be blanched and frozen for later use.

    Storage
    Store kale, washed, wrapped in paper towels in a plastic bag. Place in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Kale will stay fresh up to 7 days.

    Nutritional Qualities
    Kale is extremely nutritious. It contains high amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Folic Acid, Calcium and Iron.

    Trivia
    Older kale is tougher and stronger in flavor. Choose smaller bunches to avoid this.

    Wine Pairings
    Zinfandel Blanc, French Colombard.

    Spices
    Cayenne, mace, marjoram, nutmeg, sesame seed, tarragon.

    Equivalencies
    1 lb. fresh kale = 1 1/2 cups cooked

    Substitution
    If you have extra kale in your house, try using it instead of spinach or swiss chard!

RECIPES

Pasta and Kale

by Jennifer A. Wickes ®2005

Yields: 4 servings

    1 pound fresh kale
    8 strips (rashers) bacon
    1/2 onion - minced
    1 pound dried pasta - medium wide noodles
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan


Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

Dice the bacon and cook over medium heat.

Remove the bacon, and saute the onions in the bacon fat. Add the kale, and toss until wilted. Add in the cooked pasta and toss thoroughly.

Serve with grated parmesan.
 

Tuscan-Style Stew Recipe

by Jennifer A. Wickes 2005

Yields: 8 servings.

    2 carrots, peeled and sliced
    1 rib celery, sliced
    1 medium onion, minced
    1 pound kale
    2 medium zucchini
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 tsp. thyme
    2 cans (15 oz.) drained white beans
    1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
    2 cups vegetable stock


Heat 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add the thyme, carrots, celery and onions. Sweat these over very low heat for about 5 minutes. Then, add the kale. Cover tightly and cook the kale until it wilts to half its volume.

Add the tomatoes and 2 cups of stock. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover.

Allow the stew to come to another boil. Add the zucchini. Simmer for one more hour, then add the beans. If necessary, add more water to your desired consisitency, and cook 45 minutes longer.

® 2005 - Jennifer A. Wickes is a freelance food writer, recipe developer and cookbook reviewer. She has written five eBooks, and has had numerous articles, reviews and recipes in printed publications, as well as on-line. Her work can be found in The Library Journal, Cook's Country magazine, Ernest & Julio Gallo's Turning Leaf Wine brochure, Bon Appetit, Better Homes and Garden and much more. She is working on her first cookbook.
 

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