Raw, steamed, baked, sauteed, juiced, added to smoothies, soups, casseroles… Kale is quite versatile. Yet it’s one of those veggies where I always have someone pull me aside at the market and ask What exactly do you do with that stuff?
I do LOTS of stuff! :) I often enjoy kale raw, via smoothie, juicing or salad if I can. It’s full of so many vitamins and nutrients and I know I’m getting the maximum amount of live enzymes with raw anything. BUT kale is a little tough and it doesn’t appeal to the average palate in the raw salad form, so sometimes I cook it up. My mom loves my cooked kale salads, and they turn out a little different every time I make them. I know I’ve posted a variation on this recipe before but I’m reposting because I’m celebrating Kale in it’s entirety for the next few weeks and I plan on featuring lots of yummy kale dishes. (This may or may not have to do with the fact that my Farmer’s Market has a tons of organic kale on sale this week) hmmm…
First of all, there are a couple different kinds of kale. Kale is in the cabbage family and is usually green, purple or a combination of the two colors. It does not form a head, like most cabbages; the leaves remain loose and can grow quite large. These are the three kinds you will most commonly encounter.
Lacinato Kale (aka Dino Kale)
In case you haven’t heard, kale freezes quite well. It is believed that freezing brings out the flavor and sweetness in the green; so freezing kale before use is often practiced in the culinary world.
Kale is a highly nutritious super food. It is packed full of vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients. It is very high in beta carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and calcium. Along with my favorite cruciferous veggie broccoli, kale contains sulforaphane, a chemical believed to have anti-cancer properties. This chemical works by increasing the enzymes in your liver that destroy the cancer-inducing chemicals you ingest in food or encounter in the environment. Some research supports that this chemical is more efficiently released from the veggies when the source is heated to a certain temperature. A light steam or saute is ideal. Don’t kill the poor thing, please! I have reoccurring nightmares of overly cooked spinach and broccoli from my school’s cafeteria. Ughh…
So one of my favorite ways to enjoy this green superfood is in a lightly blanched and chilled salad. I made a big batch of this today and will be munching on it throughout the week :)
Sesame Ginger Kale Salad
2 lg. bunches of kale, or 3 medium bunches
1/4 c. tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
1 tbs. agave nectar syrup
3 tbs. freshly squeezed orange juice
3 heaping tbs. freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs. sesame seeds
1. Wash and prep kale. Remove the leaves from the stems and tear into bite-sizes pieces. (*Save your stems for the juicer if you have one!)
2. Set up a steamer on the stove top. Use a large stockpot, fill a third up with water, and place steamer pot on top. Place your kale in the steamer basket and steam for approx. 2 minutes. *You may have to steam kale in batches, depending on the size of your steamer basket.*
3. Remove kale with tongs and place in large bowl of ice water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
4. Remove kale from ice bath, squeezing out excess water with your hands. Put kale into large mixing bowl.
5. Combine remaining ingredients in small mixing bowl and whisk together.
6. Pour dressing on top of kale and use your hands to massage it into the leaves.
**The idea is to have just enough dressing to coat and flavor the kale. There should be very little dressing on the bottom on the bowl. If need be, pour out extra dressing and discard.
7. Chill for an hour, and serve.
Print this recipe.
If you love Kale as much as I do check out family owned company EatMoreKale.com and their nifty t-shirts! Hmmm… I might have to snag one of those for myself ;)