Thanks to the zeitgeist and some serious lobbying from such lovely people as Kristen Beddard of The Kale Project, kale is becoming more readily available to Parisian cooks. I myself order it from a grower based in the Somme through my local Ruche qui dit oui! outpost*: it’s the curly kale variety, which he poetically calls chou plume (feather cabbage).
Last time I had the opportunity to cook with kale was a year ago, when I spent a couple of weeks in Canada, and back then I’d made kale chips, and multiple bowls of spelt pasta with goat’s milk ricotta and wilted kale.
But now that I can envision a bright future with lots of kale in it, I want to explore more options. So I’ve turned to Twitter to ask about your latest favorite uses and recipes, and I am now collating my own research with some of your suggestions for easy reference.
I’ll note that all of these recipes can be made interchangeably with any kale variety, be it curly, purple, or (my favorite) dinosaur.
Thanks to all of you who contributed ideas, and naturally, if you have a one of your own that’s not in the list, please feel free to add it in the comments section!
* Read David Lebovitz’s post for more about La Ruche qui dit oui!
- Kale + garlic
- Kale + ginger
- Kale + fruits, dried or fresh
- Kale + citrus
- Kale + rice
- Kale + legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils…)
- Kale + quinoa
- Kale + avocado
- Kale + nuts or seeds
- Kale + nut butters
- Kale + roasted root vegetables or winter squash
- Kale + mushrooms
- Kale + cheese, especially ricotta, feta, parmesan
- Kale + eggs
- Kale + bacon
Sautéed or braised kale
- Stir-fried with garlic, chile flakes, and lemon juice.
- Sautéed with shallots or onions, garlic, salt, pepper, in olive oil. Optionally, add capers, or chopped olives, or a touch of vinegar.
- Garlicky greens
- Curried creamed kale: kale and onions sautéed in a bit of butter with a touch of curry powder and coconut milk.
- Braised kale with bacon and cider
Steamed or boiled kale
- Chopped, steamed or boiled briefly, then dressed with a little butter and sea salt.
- Steamed over brown rice with sautéed tempeh, then smothered in tahini sauce.
- Boiled kale à la Zuni Café, served over a toasted slice of bread with a fried egg on top (as described by Molly).
- Steamed then tossed with lemon juice and sea salt.
- Sauté garlic and ginger, add chopped kale (including the spines) to steam, add flax seeds and peanut butter, soy sauce and honey to taste; serve with brown rice.
- Kale and mushrooms with creamy polenta
- Add chiffonaded kale to a creamy, spicy, potatoey soup.
- Portuguese caldo verde, or any similar soup with potatoes or white beans, and optionally, some type of smoked sausage.
- Almond chicken soup with kale, sweet potatoes, and ginger
- Kale and lentil soup
Raw kale salads
- Raw kale salad tip: massage the leaves vigorously with the dressing, and let stand so they will wilt and soften (as demonstrated by Gena in this video from minute 2:30).
- Kale salad with apricots and avocado
- Kale salad with white miso dressing
- Shredded raw kale salad with anchovy vinaigrette
- Add shredded kale to quinoa with olive oil, goat cheese, roasted golden beets, and red wine vinegar.
- Kale salad with roasted winter squash
- Massage coarse salt into the leaves for a few minutes, then rinse well and dry. Shred or tear into bite-size pieces. Add some thinly sliced red onion, slivers of apple, and a handful of currants. Dress with a light or neutral oil and lemon juice, sherry vinegar, or champagne vinegar. A squirt of honey or maple syrup adds a nice touch of sweetness and a pinch of cayenne pepper is great, too.
More kale ideas
- Kale chips: wash and dry the kale (preferably dinosaur kale), slice off the spines (save for a stir-fry), cut the leaves into bite-size pieces, dress them with a touch of olive oil and a little salt, spread on a baking sheet without crowding, and bake for 5 to 10 minutes at 175°C / 350°F, until lightly golden.
- Kale pesto
- Kale and potato gratin, or just kale gratin
- Kale lasagna
- Breakfast kale sandwich with bacon and an egg
- Cook quinoa with dried cranberries and add kale at the end so it will lightly steam.
- Add to a frittata.
- Kale pizza with onions and chestnuts
- Kale and bean bruschetta
- Colcannon, to which you can add garlic and white wine.
- Kale and quinoa cakes
- Kale turnovers
- Green juices and smoothies (such as with banana, apple, and ginger)