The weekend in produce and what the F to do with a buttload of kale

So I purchased a massive quantity of hardy greens AGAIN, and no I don’t really have a plan for it all or room in the refrigerator but this time I had a good reason: the massive bunch of kale was only $2.50 and the farmer selling it was really attractive.  Andrea and I decided that a farmer-RD relationship could definitely work out, especially if the man was ruggedly sexy like this guy.  For those of you who shop at the Crescent City Farmer’s Market, check out the booth where they always have the Romanesco cauliflower.  You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Other highlights of the market:

FM1

FM2FM3FM4

My purchases this week were cherry tomatoes (gotta have em), cucumbers, and the kale.  I just had to do it.  One of these days I’m gonna cave and buy a muffin from this guy who lives on a farm across the lake and bakes all day and raises chickens.  He’s the man but so far my self control has won the muffin battle.  Plus normally if I give in at the market I get a popsicle.

Other produce (roma tomatoes, garlic, and basil; not pictured) went into a bruschetta for a friend’s housewarming party!

Anyway, I have never used Russian Red kale before.  I have eaten it on a pizza once at American Flatbread in Waitsfield VT with free-range chicken, pickled garlic scapes (side note: do they grow garlic down here?  I don’t want to miss my yearly garlic scape pesto making session) and other delicious things the night before the Mad Marathon which I ran as a relay a few summers back (another side note: both this restaurant and this race will BLOW YOUR MIND – delicious food and incredible scenery for the race).  Kale soup is a go-to, but I just made a bunch a week or so ago and it’s filling up the freezer pretty well.  The finger-like leaves don’t make it easy to turn red kale into kale chips, so I went for something refreshing: kale salad.  The following is less of a recipe and more of a haphazard description of an oddly delicious combination of flavors.

kale salad

Massaged Kale Salad with Louisiana Strawberries, Goat Cheese, and Sunflower Seeds

Ingredients:

– Kale (I used Russian Red)

– Strawberries

– 1/4 lemon

– Olive oil

– Salt and Pepper

– Honey

– Goat cheese

– Sunflower seeds

Directions:

First, wash and dry your kale.  De-rib and shred it.  Next, grind that salt and pepper over your bowl full of kale confetti, and if you can control how fine the grind is make it a little bigger.  You want the pieces to be able to bruise and soften the fibrous leaves.  Next, drizzle a bit of olive oil (you need some for lubrication but the actual amount is a personal preference thing) and squeeze lemon over.  Then get in there with your hands.  Squeeze the kale, kneading it and crunching it between your fingers, mixing it all around.  Then leave it alone for 10 minutes.  During this time you can clean up your kale stems, slice your strawberries, feed your dog…  Now add the strawberries and goat cheese, and toss again.  Taste a bit of kale to determine how much sweetness you want to add, and drizzle honey appropriately.  Toss again and test again, and again, and again….without the honey this salad is a little just off so you need to make sure you hit that AHA! point of deliciousness.   Sprinkle your seeds at the very end so they are perfectly crunchy, and eat away!

If you find yourself in a kale dilemma like me and need some ideas

– Check out what Kari‘s doing with it, as she seems to eat kale basically daily.

– Add to stir fries, soups, and throw shreds into your pasta water to soften during the last few minutes of the cooking process, and add whatever sauce you would have if the greens weren’t in there

– Stir into egg scrambles like Friday’s breakfast

– MAKE SOUP!!

– Steam or saute lightly and eat with tahini dressing

– Braise with tomatoes and a splash of red wine vinegar

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