Skip to content

Foodstuff: Kale

Kale 1

I am something of a latecomer when it comes to using this particular vegetable. It wasn’t something that I ever recall being serve at home as a kid, and it is only within the last year or so that it has been appearing in our grocery stores with any frequency. Still, I have been remedying that situation over the last several months and, if you haven’t experienced this tasty green vegetable yet, you may wish to give it a try…

Kale comes in a number of different varieties and the curly leaf variety seen in the first picture is one of the most popular, and the only one I have cooked with thus far. There is also a plain leafed type and an Italian variety which is known, amongst other appellations, by the interesting name, ‘Dinosaur Kale’.

Although the vegetable is most widely associated with Northern Europe, various types are also grown and consumed in North America and Africa. Like other members of the Brassica genus, this green is a very healthy vegetable choice as it is a good source of Vitamins C and K, as well as various antioxidants.

One reality of cooking with kale is that it is quite a fibrous vegetable and can be a little tough and chewy if not suitably prepared. This is particularly true of the stems which require a longer cooking time than the leaves.

Kale 2

One simple expedient is to simply trim the stems away and use the leaves alone. In that event, you can, of course, save the stems for other uses. One could, for example, chop the stalks into sections and briefly sauté them before adding to rice, soups, or stews.

Kale 3

You can also, depending upon the intended use, just ‘shave’ away the thicker portions of the stem. This way, you can preserve the textural contrast but save having to overcook the leaves in order to make the stems tender enough.

Kale 4

One useful technique I came across a while ago is to massage the leaves prior to use. Simply rubbing them vigorously with your fingers and between your palms causes the fibers to break down. The leaves wilt and soften, and, as you can see darken somewhat. The advantage to this softening procedure is that you can shorten necessary cooking times.

Kale 5

Massaging with salt, oil, or a combination of the two is often employed as well. In either case, but especially with the combination technique, the leaves can be used in raw preparations, particularly if they are allowed to macerate for at least 30 minutes prior to uses. If using salt, I find it preferable to use a very coarse type as this helps break down the fibers more easily and the excess is quickly shaken off.


The number of uses for this vegetable is really beyond enumerating, but, suffice it to say, it can basically be used in the same sorts of ways as spinach or any other leafy green. In perusing the net, I have come across quite a number of very interesting and non-standard usages and, as time and availability permits, I will be looking at some of these in future posts…


5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Like you, I’d never heard of Kale. But, when I lived in Boston, a woman in the grocery store told me of a recipe that she grew up eating as a child. It was a soup of Kale, potatoes, red pepper flakes and Keilbasa, –so very simple and yet very satisfying. The Kale as you can imagine, really holds up in a soup. It’s also a wonderous soup when you have a cold! Now, years later I even put it in smoothies! But, I am going to definitely try your

    September 1, 2013
    • The soup sounds great … I might use a harder/drier sausage though. I’ll keep this idea in mind 🙂

      September 1, 2013
  2. Thank you for the useful tip!
    Next time I am in a supermarket I shall look for one.
    Do you think Kale will be suitable for steaming if I rub them beforehand?

    September 1, 2013
    • It’s a pretty sturdy leaf, but it might reduce the steaming time just a little 🙂

      September 1, 2013
  3. Kale chips are great! I can give you a recipe if you don’t have one. Easy too.

    September 5, 2013

Comments, thoughts or suggestions most welcome...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Meet & Eats

The food that I've had the pleasure of meeting and eating.

Uncle Grumpy's Playroom

Current events, humor, science, religion, satire

Food Travel Lover

走过的地方 尝过的美食 留下的回忆

The Odd Pantry

Essays on food

Reputable Sources

Organizing ferments since 2013

that Other Cooking Blog

. food . photo . sous vide .


My Virtual Cookbook to Share My Love and Joy of Food and Cooking One Recipe at a Time

lola rugula

my journey of cooking, gardening, preserving and more

Yummy Lummy

I cook, photograph and eat food with the occasional restaurant review!

Eye Of the Beholder

A pair of eternally curious eyes and a camera...Life is beautiful.

gluten free zen

Taking The Stress Out Of Gluten-Free Grain-Free & Dairy-Free Living

Clayton's Kitchen

Big flavors and fun cooking from a cubbyhole kitchen

Bunny Eats Design

Happy things, tasty food and good design


Dentist chef, just a dentistry student who practice the dentist's cooking recipes in a dentist's kitchen

Mad Dog TV Dinners

Guess what's coming to dinner?


Real Food & Real Opinions

Bento Days

Making bentos for kids

Garden to Wok

Fresh and tasty!

Bam's Kitchen

Healthy World Cuisine

Trang Quynh

everyone is special in their own way :)

Farm to Table Asian Secrets

Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season


If people say that life is too short to drink bad wine, it means also that life is too short to eat crappy food!

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

The Unorthodox Epicure

Confessions of an Aspiring Food Snob

The 好吃 Challenge

1 girl, 273 days, 100 recipes


a recipe sharing and bento blog


Just another site

The Food Nazi

Never try to eat more than you can lift

Expat Chef in Barcelona

From my kitchen to yours

Keeping Up With the Holsbys

a journey into my head and my pantry

Nurul's Culinary Adventures

I Love Food, the Universe and Everything!!


home-cooking recipes, restaurant reviews, International cuisine ,

Naked Vegan Cooking

Body-positive Vegan Goodness

Bites of Food History

Sharing my Experimental Archaeology of Food

Stefan's Gourmet Blog

Cooking, food, wine


A Journey About Food, Recipes And Destinations


Fresh, exciting and adventurous food journey

One Man's Meat

Multi-award winning food blog, written in Dublin, Ireland.

%d bloggers like this: