It’s 35 degrees out today and there’s a thick cover of fog. Not ideal growing weather, but the Red Russian kale that we are over-wintering doesn’t seem to mind.
Red Russian is just one of several varieties of kale we usually grow at Upper Meadows. Kale, a member of the cabbage family, is a powerful vegetable, packed with beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, and even calcium. Those qualities alone ought to earn it as big a place on American plates as it has in other countries. But kale has taken a back seat to spinach here, and that is a shame.
What do you do with kale? One of the easiest things is to strip the leaves off the stems and chop them roughly, then add them with a bit of water to a skillet in which you have lightly sauteed red onions. Let the kale braise for a few minutes, then season with kosher salt and serve.
Other ideas: Use kale raw in a salad with ricotta salata or combine it with white beans for a traditional hearty soup. If you’re not a vegetarian, try making a kale soup with chorizo or kielbasa and potatoes.