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what you need to know

Root Source: Kale

Root Source: Kale


what you should know

An ancient, rugged predecessor of broccoli and brussels sprouts, kale loves the icy gloom of winter. Like many hardy greens, it sweetens when exposed to frost.


get it young Kale is a versatile, vitamin-rich antioxidant. Get them young and slender. If you bring home large, coarse kale, be prepared to cook it for a long time (like you would other bitter greens).


kaled over A few months ago, food writer Melissa Clark discovered that not all kales are created equal. ("If a chef dares to offer something as unappealing as, say, a raw kale salad, chances are it's fantastic." This epiphany led Clark to discover the glories of lacinato kale (aka, black kale, Tuscan kale and dinosaur kale).


clean greens Kale's ridges harbor all kinds of dirt and grime. You really have to go at them to get it all out. We prefer to wash and dry our greens before we prep them. But you might try chopping (or slicing) your kale and then washing and draining it. Whatever works.


hooked on kail In Scotland, kale (or kail) was for so long been a hardy staple that the word kail became another way of saying dinner. J.M. Barrie belonged to a group of Scottish writers known as the "Kail-yard school" because of their nostalgic depictions of rural Scotland (where kale fields were common).



what you need


At her Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, Annie Somerville does wonders with kale and other hardy greens. Our favorite of Somerville's books is her Everyday Greens.


We've been dying to try the duck leg stuffed with Tuscan kale in Thomas Keller's Bouchon, the follow-up to his French Laundry Cookbook.


Have you contemplated going vegan but been put off by the thought of getting by on seitan and tofu pups? Veganomicon be the book you've been waiting for.


Chicken, kale, and sprouts stir fry


what you do


Feeling a little worn? Make this invigorating Indian chicken, carrot and kale stew. Garam masala plays off the earthiness of the kale and carrot, and a touch of jalapeno points up all the flavors.


Broiling a steak? Pair it with a comforting, rich bowl of creamed kale. (You could also just skip the steak.)


For a heartier side dish to that steak, try mashing kale with potatoes. The Irish call this dish colcannon. The Dutch have a version called stamppot.


In this dish of chickpeas with merguez and kale, the beans act as a creamy canvas for the spicy lamb sausage and bitter leafy greens.


Get some satisfaction with this marinated beef and kale stew.


Pork, kale and cheese have a obvious affinity for each other. In this bacon and kale gratin, the greens ground what is an otherwise indulgent concoction.


Pork, kale and fish are the less obvious but equally delicious combination that's fuels hogwash's Seattle shellfish stew.


A reminder: if you'd like to wander through cookthink.com, we now have an index of all our recipes. And don't forget about our brand new Cookthinktank.

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