This amazing vegetable has received lots of hype in the past decade, and for good reason. This member of the cruciferous family retains much of its wild nutrient value. It's full of amazing phytonutrients and vitamins. It's also so versatile for cooking. It's most nutritious eaten raw, and lends itself very well to hearty spring and fall salads. However, it holds up very well braised, sauteed and even in soups. Here are a couple of quick easy recipes to try with this delicious and healthy leafy green!
Cheesy toast with Sauteed Kale and Garlic Scapes
-the best bread you can get, sourdough works great
-handful of fresh kale
-two garlic scapes, or a couple cloves of garlic
-slices of sharp white cheddar cheese
-salt and pepper
Turn oven broil on low
Slice bread into medium thickness slices and lay it on a cookie sheet
Strip the kale from the stem by pulling the leaf upward towards the top away from the stem.
Stack the pieces of leaf and cut it into strips.
Dice the garlic scape.
In a cast iron skillet, heat a little olive oil on medium heat.
Add the garlic and the kale to the skillet and saute until it is cooked through and starting to brown.
Top the bread with the sauteed vegetables.
Add the slices of cheese slices to the top of the vegetables on the bread.
Pop in the oven and leave in until the cheese is melted and the edges of the bread are toasted.
Suggested Wine Pairing: We enjoyed this appetizer and the following salad with an easy drinking, well balanced Italian Montepulciano. This 2019 vintage has notes of black cherry and an undertone of herbs. The earthy sweetness pairs perfectly with the slight bitterness of the kale and the sharp cut of the cheddar cheese for this dish.
Kale Cesar Salad with Sourdough Croutons and Roasted Mushrooms
-a couple bunches of kale, stripped and torn
-two handfuls of mushrooms, quartered
-two pieces of bread cut into cubes
-best parmigiana you can find
-olive oil, long pull
-juice from one lemon
-garlic scape or clove
-dijon mustard, small squeeze or about a tsp
-anchovy paste (or skip it), even smaller squeeze
-salt and pepper
Turn oven broiler on high
Add cubed bread and chopped garlic or garlic scapes to cookie sheet and coat with olive oil.
Put on a middle to high rack in the oven for a few minutes. Remove when the exterior is crunchy and the interior is still soft, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the dressing in a small cup and whisk to combine well.
Add kale to a large bowl, and cover in the dressing. Toss to combine.
Finely shred some of the parm using a microplane directly onto the top of the salad.
Remove the croutons from the oven and add right to the salad.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
On the same cookie sheet you used for the croutons, add the quartered mushrooms.
When the oven has preheated, add the mushrooms and roast to your liking. I like mine to be browned on a couple sides. I’ll turn them after about five minutes and leave them for about another five.
Add the mushrooms to the salad, and toss it all until well combined. Finally, shave a little parmesan on the top and enjoy!
Suggested Wine Pairing: This meal pairs very well with the above mentioned 2019 Montepulciano. However, it would also pair very well with a fuller bodied white wine, like an oak aged Chardonnay. The buttery, vanilla flavors of the chardonnay would compliment the bitter, acidic, and nutty notes from the salad very well.