It’s frilly, leafy, green and sweet. This week’s Harvest Hub Curly Kale has a tale about how its nitrogen rich soil is only 30 food miles from your dinner plate. It’s madly, wildly growing all over the Hawkesbury area and because it’s basically pest and disease resistant it’s easy to grow without chemicals. The only blighter is the white butterfly and the occasional slug. If you find one – Yum bush tucker!
Would you like to know that when you cut yourself that your liver has done its job? Guess so.
Well this leafy green is chokkas with Vitamin K which helps our lover produce blood clotting agents. And there’s more…they are full of ‘anti-oxidants’. ‘Free radicals’ are created when oxygen is metabolized in the blood. The anti-oxidant army cruise in and demolish them.
To keep kale: put it unwashed in a plastic bag in the fridge vegetable drawer. It should last for five days but as with all greens, the sooner you use them the fresher (and less bitter in kale’s case) they are.
To prepare: wash under cold running water, paying attention to the bottom of the stems. As the stems will take longer to cook than the leaves, many recipes suggest you chop them into 1cm pieces and start cooking them first. The leaves can be chopped into 2cm pieces and cooked later.
So choose any recipe that calls for greens, spinach, silverbeet (Swiss Chard) will do well with kale.
Ronn Morris, Ashfield’s vegetarian Hubster, regards cooking and eating as two of life’s four pillars. She is has a passion for Kale and tells us:
“You can chop kale into a white bean soup, as you would spinach or Tuscan cabbage, or blend it with carrots, celery and flaxseed oil for a green liquid breakie. It’s good as a pesto, finely chopped (use your food processor) with almonds and pine nuts, parmesan (or pecorino) cheese, olive oil, garlic and fresh black pepper. It’s also good in frittata, quiche, or baked in filo pastry with a chopped onion, some chopped garlic, chili, some dried or chopped fresh mint, a couple of beaten eggs, 200-250 grams of feta.
- 40g butter
- 40g olive oil
- 2 onions shallots, peeled and sliced
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 3-4 kale, any tough stems removed
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- 30g currants
- 50g toasted pine nuts
- ½ tsp lemon zest, finely chopped
- 125g light sour cream
- 4 large eggs
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 180C fan forced.
- See pastry recipe below.
- Line a tart tin with pastry, prick base and chill for 10 minutes. Line the pastry with baking paper, cover with dried beans and blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove beans and paper and cook for a further 10 minutes, allow to cool. Reduce the oven to 160C fan forced.
- Meanwhile heat olive oil and butter in a large frying pan, cook shallots and garlic until soft, then set aside. In the same pan cook the kale until wilted, then deglaze with verjuice.
- In a food processor combine cooked shallots and half the cooked kale to a puree.
- In a large bowl combine kale puree with remaining cooked kale, currants, pine nuts and lemon, stirring until well combined. In a small jug whisk together the cream, eggs, salt and pepper. Add to the kale mixture, stirring to combine.
- Carefully pour the kale mixture into the prepared pastry case and bake in prepared oven for 35-40 minutes. Serve.
- 125 g plain flour
- 100 g unsalted & chilled butter
- 60 ml sour cream
- Chop all the butter into small cubes. Weigh flour and put into mixer. Blend flour and butter until it resembles a large breadcrumb consistency. Add sour cream gradually.
- Turn onto a floured bench and pull together with your hands into a rectangle shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 minutes before rolling out and lining your tin.
- Blind bake at 200C for 12 minutes (put baking paper on top cover with rice). Remove the paper and weights and bake for a further 5 minutes.
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