Kale, a member of the Brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), is high in beta carotene, vitamin K & C, has strong antioxidant properties and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.  Kale’s nutritious properties are best preserved by steaming, microwaving or stir-frying as opposed to boiling.

Recipe List:
Sweet and Savory Kale
Squash and Kale with White Bean Stew
Crispy Kale Chips
Massaged Kale Salad with Strawberries and Pine Nuts
Kale and Gruyere Panini
Raw Kale Salad with Lemon, Pecorino, and Currants
Kale and Potato Soup
Braised Kale with Diced Tomato
Turkey, Kale and Oat Meatballs with Quick Tomato Sauce


Sweet and Savory Kale

A CSA member shared this recipe, saying even her kids liked it.

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Squash and Kale with White Bean Stew

from “Farmer John’s Cookbook”

1 pound white beans, soaked overnight and drained
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 whole head garlic,
1 bay leaf
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 Tbs minced fresh sage
1 tsp cumin
Pinch dried red pepper flakes (or fresh!)
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 2-inch cubes
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water
1 pound kale, thick stems removed, chopped or coarsely torn
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Place beans in a large soup pot.  Add enough water to cover beans by 2 inches.  Add 2 Tbs of olive oil, the head of garlic, and the bay leaf; bring to a boil, partially cover and reduce to simmer.  Simmer until the beans are very tender, 1-3 hours.  Drain, rinse and drain again.  Remove garlic head.
2. Heat the remaining 2 Tbs of oil in a deep baking dish or Dutch oven.  Add the onion; sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the sliced garlic, sage, cumin, and red pepper; sauté for 1 minute more.
3.  Add squash; stir to combine.  Add the stock or water, bring to a simmer.  Add the kale; cook until the squash and kale are tender, about 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4.  Stir in the beans; simmer until the beans.

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Crispy Kale Chips

From “Eating Locally” by Janet Fletcher
CSA Farmers who grow kale say that many of their shareholders lack recipes for this highly nutritious leafy green. Kale chips to the rescue. Roasted in the oven, the leaves crackle when you eat them and dissolve like snowflakes on the tongue. No matter how many batches you make, they will disappear in an instant. The DeLaney Community Farm blog credits Bon Appétit magazine for the idea.

½ pound Tuscan kale or curly kale
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. With a knife, separate the kale leaves from their tough central rib and discard the ribs. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale leaves. Put them in a large bowl, drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat them evenly with the oil. Arrange them on baking sheets in a single layer.
2. Bake, in batches if necessary, until the leaves become fully crisp, 25-30 minutes. You can serve them immediately or let them cool. They will stay crisp for at least a couple of hours.

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Massaged Kale Salad with Strawberries and Pine Nuts

1 bunch kale, hard stems removed and torn into pieces
3 oz strawberries, sliced
2 tbsp pine nuts, raw or toasted (optional)
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp honey
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Place kale pieces in a large bowl, add olive oil and salt.
2. Massage kale until it turns a darker shade of green and becomes soft.
3. Combine lemon juice and honey in a smaller bowl and add to the massaged kale.
4. Add salt and pepper.
5. Drizzle with more EVOO and add more honey if a little bit more sweetness is desired.
6. Add the slices strawberries and pine nuts.
7. Chill in the fridge for a few minutes and serve cold.

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Kale and Gruyere Panini

From Eating Well magazine

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 Tbsps balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
8 cups chopped kale
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
8 slices country bread, preferably whole wheat, 1/4 inch thick
Olive oil cooking spray
1 cup shredded Gruyere or fontina cheese
1 medium tomato, cut into 8 thin slices

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vinegar and cook until almost evaporated about 1 minute. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kale, water, and salt (the pan will be full). Stir, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted and the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. To prepare panini: Preheat panini maker to high. Coat one side of each slice of bread with cooking spray. With the sprayed side down, spread the kale mixture on 4 slices of bread (about 1/2 cup per sandwich). Top each with 1/4 cup cheese and 2 slices tomato. Top with remaining bread, sprayed side up. Press in the panini maker until crispy, 3 to 5 minutes.

No panini maker? To make on stovetop, heat 1 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 2 sandwiches in the pan. Place a medium skillet on top and add four 15-oz cans to weigh it down. Cook the sandwiches, turning once, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.

Serves 4, 1 panini each.

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Raw Kale Salad with Lemon, Pecorino, and Currants

16 cups very thinly sliced curly kale (from about 1 pound, stems removed)
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup dried currants
½ cup Pecorino-Romano cheese, finely shredded (about 2 oz.)
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. fresh-ground black pepper

In a large serving bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss thoroughly to combine, and allow to rest 5-10 minutes. Toss thoroughly again before serving, adding more cheese, salt, or pepper, if desired.

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Kale and Potato Soup

From Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Vegetables

This recipe is SO simple. Feel free to enrich the basic ingredients with other vegetables and herbs. She recommends to stew shallots and garlic separately and then purée them with the kale and potatoes at the end.

“A Portuguese recipe, called caldo verde (green broth) in Portugal, where cabbage is often substituted for the kale.”

1 bunch kale
2 pounds potatoes
2 quarts water (or chicken/vegetable broth)
1 teaspoon salt
Optional: 1 garlic sausage
Extra virgin olive oil

Remove stems from kale, wash the leaves, and cut them into a chiffonade. Peel the potatoes and chop them up very fine. Bring the water to a boil with the salt. Add the chopped potatoes, return to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes, covered. Add the kale and cook 2 minutes more. Taste for seasoning. If desired, serve with sliced garlic sausage heated briefly in the soup and a splash of the olive oil. You can also serve it as a purée, moisten it with chicken stock or enrich it with other vegetables.

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Braised Kale with Diced Tomato

2 Tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes or one 15-oz can
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 pound chopped fresh kale

In a Dutch oven or large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook while stirring for about 1 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, cumin, salt, red pepper flakes, and pepper. Add the kale and toss with the tomatoes. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, until the kale is tender.

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Turkey, Kale and Oat Meatballs with Quick Tomato Sauce

1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
6 ounces kale, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped (about 4 packed cups)
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 large egg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup skim milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound 99 percent fat-free ground turkey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
One 28-ounce can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes!!)
2 sprigs oregano
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
12 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta

Pulse the oats in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add the kale, 1 teaspoon of the minced garlic and 1/4 cup of the chopped onion, and pulse until finely chopped and the texture is crumbly. Add the egg, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, milk, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and pulse until just combined. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl, add the turkey and mix with your hands until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Heat the oil in a large, straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the remaining onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned in spots, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the remaining garlic, and cook until softened, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups water, 2 tablespoons of the remaining Parmesan, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes. Stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove the turkey and kale mixture from the refrigerator. Shape level tablespoonfuls into round meatballs (about 36), and place on a rimmed baking sheet.

Remove the lid from the sauce. Use a metal spatula or 2 spoons to add the meatballs, one at a time, to the simmering sauce in a single layer. Cook, covered, until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the mixture sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the oregano.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package directions. Drain well.

To serve, divide the pasta among 6 plates or bowls. Top each serving with 7 meatballs and 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

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