Kale is good for you. You know you need to eat more kale, so why aren’t you? Well, to be honest, kale is kind of tough and turns an unattractive colour once it’s cooked down to a soft consistency. Here are some ideas to incorporate more kale into your repertoire without making you feel like a wild animal chewing on bunch of dried leaves.
First of all, get a bunch of kale and clean it well. Remove the tough ribs and do a chiffonade of the leaves, this can be kept in a container in the fridge and to grab from it at will. Toss a handful into the food processor with chickpeas and tahini for a green hummus. Here is a great recipe that incorporates roasted garlic. Drizzle it with vinaigrette and toss with sweet potatoes and blue cheese, let sit overnight to wilt and you’ll have a lovely salad. Make a potato soup and when pureeing the hot potatoes and stock add in a few handfuls of kale. It will puree beautifully into the soup, adding a lovely shade of green and a humongous amount of healthiness.
You can even add it to your morning smoothie, like this Strawberry-Kale Smoothie from Taste for Adventure, or this Blueberry-Kale Smoothie form Tasty-Yummies.com. You can even incorporate kale into a cake. That’s right! A kale cake. Here is a great recipe for one from Bitchin Dietician. Happy Birthday.
Another way to soften up kale so that it is easier to eat is to blanche it. Clean and de-rib your kale and then give it a quick dunk in boiling, salted water before removing it to an ice bath to stop the cooking. This blanched kale can now be used in stir-fries, chopped and tossed into pasta sauce, stews, you can even make it a layer in a lasagna.
My favourite recipe for kale right now is in a smoked fish and potato cake, it works well in this hearty dish, and it suits the time of year. I like to use smoked sturgeon from Acadian Sturgeon or smoked trout from Kolapore Springs.
Kale, Potato & Smoked Fish Cakes
250g smoked trout, sturgeon or your favourite smoked fish
1 onion , finely chopped
140g kale without stalks, washed & blanched
Seasoned flour, for dusting
1 egg, beaten
Breadcrumbs from 4 thick slices of white bread, crusts removed
4tbsp sunflower oil
- Boil whole potatoes in their skins for 30-40 minutes, or until tender (timing depends on their size). Meanwhile, put the smoked fish in a pan with the milk, bring to the boil then quickly turn the heat down. Cover with a lid and poach for three minutes or until just cooked.
- Set the smoked fish aside (reserving 2tbsp of the milk), then remove the skin from the fish and fork the flesh into large flakes.
- Once the potatoes are tender, drain and remove skins. Mash the flesh with two-thirds of the butter, plus the 2tbsp milk.
- Fry the onion in the rest of the butter for five minutes until soft, but not coloured. Blanche the kale, then drain, squeezing all the water from the kale and roughly chop.
- Mix the mash with the onion and blanched kale, then carefully mix in the fish — try to keep the flakes large and not overwork the mixture. Flour your hands then shape the mixture into eight cakes, each about 8cm across, and dust with seasoned flour.
- Chill the cakes for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make a tartar sauce with mayo, minced pickles, capers, shallots and lemon juice.
- Dip each cake in beaten egg, then breadcrumbs and fry in the hot oil for a couple of minutes on each side.