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Crops & Varieties: Kale

Varieties

Red Russian Kale     Lacinato Kale
Red Russian Kale                                                       Lacinato Kale


Red Russian, also called Siberian, is another tender kale, with frilly, pink-red leaves and a mild, delicate flavor and a well-balanced spice. Both are members of the Brassica family with lighty mustardy flavor with a hint of cabbage taste.

Lacinato, also called Tuscan cavalo nero, black cabbage or dinosaur kale. This easy-to-work-with kale is very dark (blue-green or black), rough textured, and turns a rich emerald green when cooked. For a straightforward, sweet flavor, cook it slow and low. 

Quick tips
A quick way to remove the leaf from the stem: wrap hand firmly around the stem where the leaf begins and pull.
 
 
(We don't grow the variety in the video, but this method works great with all varieties.)

These kales are excellent braised, steamed, sautéed and stir-fried. They're great additions to pasta, soup, stew and casseroles. When fully cooked, kale is pleasantly chewy. Try starting your sauté with aromatics to balance the light cabbage flavor.

While most often cooked, these varieties of kale make a fantastic salad. To make a raw kale salad, remove leaves from stems, add a good deal of salt (up to 1 tsp for a large batch) and basically treat the leaves like bread dough, pressing, pulling and squeezing the leaves for 1-2 full minutes, until they have softened thoroughly and reduced in size. Toss with a little olive oil and pepper for a great raw kale salad or put on corn tortillas with a little salsa for simple kale tacos (a simple lunch or a super-quick dinner).  Assertive dressings and stinky cheese also pair well with kale. 


These kales are excellent braised, steamed, sautéed and stir-fried. Great additions to pasta, soup, stew and casseroles. When fully cooked, kale is pleasantly chewy. Try starting your sauté with aromatics to balance the light cabbage flavor.

Our Lacinato kale makes great kale chips. See recipe below.

Storage
A way to save space in your fridge: remove leaves from the stems and store separately.


Only wash leaves when ready to use. Wash thoroughly, as dirt tends to collect in the divots in the leaves.

Store in perforated bag or produce bag wrapped in a damp paper towel.

Recipes

Heidi Swanson: Raw Tuscan Kale Salad

Smitten Kitchen: Baked Kale Chips (mentioned above)


Boiling: 8-10 mins for Lacinato & Red Rain; 16-30 mins for hearty types
Braising: 8-10 mins for Lacinato & Red Rain; 20-60 mins for hearty types
Roasting: 8-20 mins at 350-400 °
Sauteing: 6-10 mins
Steaming: 8-10 mins for Lacinato & Red Rain; 16-30 mins for hearty types
Stir Frying: 4-8 mins

 

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