This year, we were looking into joining a C.S.A. (community supported agriculture). We started off on the wait list for one of the local farms, but I was excited to receive an email two weeks ago offering us a share of this summer’s fruits and veggies! (Not familiar with C.S.A.s? Look for a post about them later this week.) So, instead of finding a new food at the grocery store, this week, I took our new food out of our weekly share of food from the farm. In this case, I decided to find out how to use the lovely bunch of fresh kale in my basket.
I wasn’t sure how to cook kale, other than putting it in soup. And I’m the only soup eater in the house, so I wasn’t tackling that! So, through the magic of facebook, I gathered input from friends on how to cook my kale. I ended up with two different recipes to try:
First, was Kale Chips. I removed the stems, and spread the kale on aluminum foil on a cookie sheet, and sprayed it with olive oil. Then I sprinkled the kale with kosher salt, and squeezed a fresh lemon over the leaves. Finally, I baked it in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. The result? Light and crunchy flaky pieces of kale – like potato chips, but different.
Next was Sauteed Kale. Again, I removed the stems, but this time I chopped them up, and then separately rolled and chopped the leaves. I oiled a pan with olive oil, and tossed in the stems and some minced garlic. After cooking them for a few minutes, I added in the leaves, and then seasoned with kosher salt and fresh lemon juice. I continued to cook until the leaves were tender.
With two different versions to choose from, we were ready to try our kale! Here’s how we fared:
7 year-old: Was very wary about trying both varieties of kale but finally tried both. She managed not to spit them out but was not a fan. Later she ate a piece of raw kale and smiled and said, “yummy!”
4 year-old: HE ATE IT! It’s a first, folks. I had him try one of the kale chips. He wanted to spit it out, but he gave up and swallowed it. He also didn’t like it, but progress is progress.
Me: I really loved the sauteed kale. The kale chips were good, but didn’t have as much flavor and were very thin. I think I needed more salt or lemon juice. The sauteed kale had great flavor and the right balance of ingredients. I will absolutely make it again!
Daddy: While he was reluctant to try both recipes, once he did so, he found that he like BOTH! His favorite was the kale chips, and he ate about 4-5 chips.
Some of the neighbors were around when we were doing our taste test, and so we included them as well. Everyone, from the parents to the kids, tried the kale and nearly all of them came back and took a second bite. The 8 year-old neighbor boy was gobbling it up and SO enthusiastic about the taste. (I need to invite him over EVERY Tuesday!)
Never had kale? Try one of these recipes for yourself, and let me know what you think. It’s a great way to get some variety in your leafy greens. Have a great recipe for kale? Please share that as well!
What new food did you try this week?
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