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October 14, 2018
Kale Magic!
By Charis Lindrooth
CSAs have what some might consider a bad reputation, others might argue good, for sending a lot of kale to their customers. If you are a kale lover, you can probably stop reading here, since you likely know all your favorite ways to consume large amounts of the nutrition-packed green. But if your taste buds balk at a big green pile of mushy brassica, you might want to read on.
Here are some tips on preparing a tasty feast out of your kale bonanza:
  • First, be aware that kale, if undercooked, it often remains on the dinner plate.
  • Second, the bitterness of this green can deter some palates which proper seasoning can overcome.
Let’s look at three recipes that are simple and tasty for those who have been intimidated by kale in the past. Mind you, I’m often a hurried cook, and work in the kitchen from the seat of my pants, more than from a recipe book. I’m also partial to using seasonal, local veggies whenever possible, so if I use a recipe, I often adapt it to suit what’s in my CSA box. At the end of each recipe, I offer a link to a “real” more formal version, for those who want more detailed instructions.

1. Portuguese Kale Soup
Ingredients:
2 large yellow onions diced fine, or chopped as you wish!
2 TBS butter or olive oil
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2-4 potatoes sliced 1/8 inch thick, or peeled and cubed if you prefer
1 bunch, or bag of kale, stripped from the stems, torn or chopped into bite size, and steamed for 10 minutes.
1/2 lb of chorizo, or mild sausage if spiciness is an issue for your crowd. Feel free to sub a vegan sausage.
Cannellini beans, 16 oz can, drained and rinsed
1-2 sprig rosemary, or 2 tsp dried
1-2 sprig thyme, of 1 tsp dried
Salt, pepper to taste
A dash of turmeric and paprika (optional)
Fresh basil for garnish, or sliced of lemon

In bottom of sturdy soup kettle, saute onions in butter, on medium heat, just until clear. Add stock and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes and simmer 5-10 minutes. I often take a potato masher and loosely crush the potatoes into smaller pieces. Add kale and sausage. Simmer 15-20 minutes. Add beans, rosemary and thyme and seasoning to taste. Simmer 5-10 minutes. Serve with garnish. Double the recipe for fantastic leftovers. Kale Soup with Rachel Ray
2. Kale Pesto
This is a fabulous way to increase the nutrient density of homemade pizza. Spread the pesto on a prepared crust (preferably homemade) and top with your favorites: cheese, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic top my list. 5 Minute Kale Pesto Recipe
3. Kale Salad with Hemp Seeds
The key to a successful kale salad is to massage it and let it marinate. This tenderizes it and gives it time to soak up some great flavor to counteract it’s bitterness. Take 1 bunch of kale, stripped from the stems and torn into bite size pieces and place it in a large salad bowl. Drizzle olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, salt to taste and add crushed garlic. Massage until the leaves turn oil and darker green. Let sit for at least an hour if possible. Add dried cranberries, hemp seeds, grapefruit and radishes. Drizzle a small amount of date balsamic vinegar, toss and enjoy. Massaged Kale Salad
Did you know that kale gets sweeter and more flavorful after the first frost? Join the Fall Share and find out for yourself!
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November 5, 2017
Curried Crockpot Collards and Kale
A Note from the Farmer's Wife
Photo by Marta Reis on Unsplash
I am always looking for new flavors to incorporate with bitter greens, making them more interesting and easy to consume. If bunches of greens are accumulating in your fridge, try this recipe. It reheats easily if you want to double the recipe for leftovers during the week.
Ingredients:
  • 1 bunch of hardy greens: 1/2 bunch of collards and 1/2 bunch kale - or any greens can be used - judge cooking time by the toughness of the greens used.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or ghee
  • 1TBS curry powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala (optional but fantastic)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1-2 tsp grated fresh ginger (optional, may substitute 1/2 tsp dry ginger)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can (16 oz) crushed or diced tomatoes (season if salt free) - or 4-5 fresh tomatoes, dicedOptional: 1/2 cup, more or less, cubed cheese such as sharp cheddar, Swiss or feta.

Chop greens into bite sized pieces, removing the tough center ribs from each leaf. Season with a little salt and a splash of olive oil and massage to help break down the toughness - this is an optional step if you are in a hurry. Dump tomatoes in bottom of crock and place greens on top. Cover and set on high.
Place a medium skillet on medium heat with oil and/or ghee - grass-fed ghee is marvelous in this recipe. When sizzling add spices, garlic, ginger and saute quickly to coat everything in the oil. Cook for a minute or two, keeping a careful eye so the garlic does not burn. Remove from heat and quickly scrape contents on top of greens in crock. Leave pan with some oil and spice remnants for later use.
If time permits, turn crackpot to low and let simmer until everything is cooked down, tender and saucey. You may need to add a little boiling water during cooking time if the tomatoes aren’t super juicy. Keep an eye on it so the greens do not burn. 3 hours is usually adequate, but you could make this dish faster on the stove top, using more water and monitoring more carefully.
If including cheese: just before serving reheat the skillet containing the remnants of the oil and spices on medium high. Toss cubes of cheese into skillet and quickly work with your spatula to coat with the fragrant oil. The softer the cheese the more it will melt. I like to use a cold, hard cheese so it doesn’t completely melt before I can get it out of the pan. If it does, don’t worry, it is still fantastic. This step takes less than a minute. Quickly toss coated cheese onto greens and give one or two big stirs.
This is practically a meal in itself, but makes a great side to lamb or beef stew.
Let me know how you like it!
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May 13, 2017
Kitchen Magic: Mastering Kale
A Note from the Farmer's Wife
CSAs have what some might consider a bad reputation, others might argue good, for sending a lot of kale to their customers. If you are a kale lover, you can probably stop reading here, since you likely know all your favorite ways to consume large amounts of the nutrition-packed green. But if your taste buds balk at a big green pile of mushy brassica, you might want to read on.
Here are some tips on preparing a tasty feast out of your kale bonanza:
- First, be aware that while spring kale is quite tender, as the season progresses it gets a little tougher and the cooking time lengthens. If undercooked, it often remains on the dinner plate.
- Second, the bitterness of this green can deter some palates which proper seasoning can overcome.
Let’s look at three recipes that are simple and tasty for those who have been intimidated by kale in the past. Mind you, I’m often a hurried cook, and work in the kitchen from the seat of my pants, more than from a recipe book. I’m also partial to using seasonal, local veggies whenever possible, so if I use a recipe, I often adapt it to suit what’s in my CSA box. At the end of each recipe, I offer a link to a “real” more formal version, for those who want more detailed instructions.
1. Portuguese Kale Soup
Ingredients:
2 large yellow onions diced fine, or chopped as you wish!
2 TBS butter or olive oil
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2-4 potatoes sliced 1/8 inch thick, or peeled and cubed if you prefer
1 bunch, or bag of kale, stripped from the stems, torn or chopped into bite size, and steamed for 10 minutes.
1/2 lb of chorizo, or mild sausage if spiciness is an issue for your crowd. Feel free to sub a vegan sausage.
Cannellini beans, 16 oz can, drained and rinsed
1-2 sprig rosemary, or 2 tsp dried
1-2 sprig thyme, of 1 tsp dried
Salt, pepper to taste
A dash of turmeric and paprika (optional)
Fresh basil for garnish, or sliced of lemon
In bottom of sturdy soup kettle, saute onions in butter, on medium heat, just until clear. Add stock and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes and simmer 5-10 minutes. I often take a potato masher and loosely crush the potatoes into smaller pieces. Add kale and sausage. Simmer 15-20 minutes. Add beans, rosemary and thyme and seasoning to taste. Simmer 5-10 minutes. Serve with garnish. Double the recipe for fantastic leftovers.
2. Kale Pesto - I have yet to try making this, but plan to use it to make a nutrition-packed pizza. Spread the pesto on a prepared crust (preferably homemade) and top with your favorites: cheese, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic top my list.
3. Kale Salad with Hemp Seeds: The key to a successful kale salad is to massage it and let it marinate. This tenderizes it and gives it time to soak up some great flavor to counteract it’s bitterness. Take 1 bunch of kale, stripped from the stems and torn into bite size pieces and place it in a large salad bowl. Drizzle olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, salt to taste and add crushed garlic. Massage until the leaves turn oil and darker green. Let sit for at least an hour if possible. Add dried cranberries, hemp seeds, grapefruit and radishes. Drizzle a small amount of date balsamic vinegar, toss and enjoy.
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