All about Kale and How to Cook with It

By: KC Kudra

This is something that many cooks of all levels of experience ask themselves, but if you do a little bit of investigation, you'll find that there are plenty of things that you can do with this highly versatile leafy green. When you eat kale, you are in good company.

Kale was the most commonly eaten green vegetable in Europe until the seventeenth century. There is actually evidence that kale was cultivated and used in the fourth century BC in ancient Greece. It was a popular addition to the British Victory Gardens of World War II and people are rediscovering the versatility and delicious flavor of kale nowadays.

If you have been out for dinner several nights in a row or not cooked for another reason, you have probably opened your refrigerator door at some point and winced at a soggy, brown pile of what were once vegetables. Kale freezes very well and actually tastes sweeter after being exposed to a frost. If you have fresh kale and especially fresh kale shoots which are very tender, try adding them to a salad. If you are making a kale salad, you might also want to add strong peppers, roasted nuts and peanuts, all of which bring out the strong, smoky flavor.

If you want to know how to cook kale, the good new is that cooking kale is easy. It is also optional because kale tastes great raw too. If you like cooked vegetables, you might like to try a southern African recipe in which the kale is boiled with ground peanuts and coconut milk and served on top of flatbread or rice. This is a very good way to enjoy a tasty vegetarian treat, which is both delicious and healthy.

Kale is frequently combined with ground, sliced meat, such as ground beef, or spiced sausage, in European kale recipes. It can be mixed with broth, olive oil, and potatoes and served as an accompaniment to the meat. A milder vegetable might not be able to stand up to the strong meat flavor but kale does the job excellently because of its strong, rich flavor. Something else you can do with kale is to cut it up and add it to stir-fries, something that is popular all over the world.

When you are looking to stir-fry kale, try adding Japanese shiitake mushrooms to the mix. Remove the kale's stems and slice the leaves into large chunks. Heat some oil in your frying pan or wok, and gently fry up the mushrooms, garlic, and anything else you think might be tasty. When these ingredients are relatively tender, add kale, and seasons like soy sauce, pepper, and sesame oil, and you will have a tasty dish in very short order.

Kale is an extremely underrated vegetable, but with a little bit of effort, you can see how easily it slips into your diet. Take advantage of this dark green vegetable and integrate it into your daily life!

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