Monday, October 8, 2012

Kale


Dear Mom,
 


You cooked and served a lot of odd things before, but I don’t ever remember kale being one of them. I read somewhere that kale is good for my body type, but I’ve never eaten it. Until…

At one of our critique meetings, Sioux brought us each a little bag with some kale chips that she had made. I devoured the entire bag of the little curly crisp leaves. Then I craved them.

My daughter, Rita and I went to Tower Grove Farmer’s Market one Saturday. Rita thought it opened at 7AM and wanted to get there on time in the event a vendor had fresh milk and butter—since she heard it disappeared fast.

The market didn’t open until 8AM, so we sat on the steps and watched the farmers set out their produce. There was honey, coffee, tea, breads, pastry, poultry, beef, gelato, soap, flowers, crafts, and of course, fruits and vegetables—whatever was in season. The Holy Crepe (love that name) served crepes out of this converted short bus that is now a traveling crepe feast. Ten Lives had cats for adoption (another cat-chy name - oh, I couldn't resist). I can’t forget Praise the Lard (who sold pork). Rather clever names for a farmer’s market.

I was on a mission to find kale and had no idea if it was in season or not. I spotted two vendors selling kale. The first bunch of kale I purchased was an oval shaped, flat leaf. It didn’t look anything like Sioux’s kale. The next batch had some weird looking shapes in the bag, but I bought it anyway. Part of me wondered if they were passing off some greenery as kale. As we were leaving, I spotted a craft vender that had some herbs and the curly kind of kale, but I was out of money…

After I got home, I washed, dried and prepped the leaves in olive oil and sea salt, then baked the kale in the oven. I searched in the Internet for kale and found there are different varieties. The following came from Wikipedia.

Kales can be classified by leaf type:
·       Curly leaved (Scots Kale)
·       Plain leaved
·       Rape Kale
·       Leaf and spear (a cross between curly leaved and plain leaved Kale)
·       Cavolo nero (also known as black cabbage, Tuscan Cabbage, Tuscan Kale, Lacinato, and dinosaur Kale)

I’m not sure which variety one particular leaf I bought falls under, but it reminded me of a pin oak leaf (see top photo, middle leaf). Kind of tasted like one too—or at least how I imagined a brown, crunchy fallen pin oak leaf might taste. Forget about eating the stem. You’d need to be a horse or a cow that had plenty of experience chewing hay. The curly leaf was light and crisp and nearly melted in your mouth.

I’m a curly leaf kind of gal, what about you?

7 comments:

  1. I have only used kale one time and that was when I made a simple kale soup. (I got the recipe from children's book in St. Charles as I remember!) It was good and different...always mean to do it again. I have never heard about baking the leaves. For how long?
    The market sounded dandy...wish I could have been with you!

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  2. @Bookie, I'm not really sure how long - maybe 10 minutes, but you can kind of tell by touching them if they are crispy. Would love the soup recipe!

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  3. I haven't had Kale before, and I do like veggies (mostly raw though). Sounds like something quite yummy with being crisp and all!

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  4. Neat! I don't think that I have eaten it either. Sounds like you gals had a great time.

    Kathy

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  5. Lynn--The rough-looking ones (they look like they're inedible, they're so tough looking) are the best ones to bake.

    350 for 10 minutes or so, then turn over for a few more minutes.

    I get a rubber banded "bunch" of kale at the grocery store for a buck, and that works well. I've tried baking the tender flimsy, non-furled ones, but they burn before they crisp up.

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  6. OH, man but I love Kale!

    Pearl

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  7. Mmmmm....sounds wonderful. Thanks for this! I'll definitely give it a try. Sweet potato chips are awesome and healthy, too. :)

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