Friday, September 19, 2014

Kale Yeah!

So, I planted my lovely little garden back in May on Memorial Day. Hopeful and satisfied, I eagerly looked forward to juicy tomatoes, fresh zucchini and summer squash, spicy hot peppers, tender Japanese eggplant, and this year: three different kinds of kale. 

And then the weather stayed cool. And things got weird. 

My veggies just did not develop like usual. The nights were cool and my peppers, squash, and tomatoes just didn't produce much fruit. And what was on the vine, just didn't ripen. It would have felt like a total bust, if it hadn't been for one surprising star of the garden...


Apparently, kale adores cool, wet weather. And apparently, we all LOVE kale. We had kale salad almost every night (and for lunch for me). If kale is really a super food, then we are in great shape. 

With all that kale growin' and eatin' I learned a few things. First of all, fresh kale from the garden is far superior to kale from the grocery store. If you can't grow kale in your garden, try to get it from a Farmer's Market.  Second, you MUST massage the kale. This is critical! Your kale must be relaxed... Haha. But seriously, massaging the kale breaks down some of its tough fibers and makes it tender and delicious. Tear the kale away from the tough stem. Tear into bite sized pieces and wash & dry. Put it in a large bowl and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. (Not too much!) Then, using both hands, gently massage the kale for one to two minutes. The kale will change color and the leaves will get softer. Once you are finished, you can store the kale in a zip top bag in the fridge to use later, or you can make a kale salad or some yummy kale chips! Huzzah! We love kale! 

Here is my favorite kale salad recipe:

Kale Salad with Miso Dressing

1 bunch kale (prepared as describes above)

1/3 cup olive oil
3 T. fresh lemon juice
4 tsp. miso (yellow or white)
1 clove minced garlic

Whisk dressing ingredients together and toss with kale. You can top with croutons and shredded Parmesan. I can't have dairy, so I like mine with some toasted pine nuts. Sometimes I just shred a little carrot on top. Yum!