I noticed a couple of days ago that my kale plants were starting to bolt — à monter en graine. They were getting ready to send up flower stalks, and would soon go to seed. It was time to pull them out of the ground. The collard greens planted out there show no signs of bolting yet, so I weeded all around those plants and left them to grow a little more.
Kale on the stem
I got a good crop. I pulled the plants out, roots and all. Then I cut off the root end and washed the leaves well in the downstairs shower. I brought them up to the kitchen and cut each leaf off the stems, and I washed the leaves again.
The leaves cut and thoroughly washed
In all they got three washings. This is curly kale, and a lot of sand can get lodged in the wrinkles of the leaves. In fact, though, these leaves were pretty clean. I guess we've had enough hard rain over the past few months to keep the leaves pretty clean.
Kale cooking in the pot with smoked pork lardons, chicken broth, and white wine
I cooked all the leaves, after throwing out the blemished ones. I seasoned the greens with smoked pork lardons, chicken broth, and white wine, along with hot red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt. I ended up with more than five pounds of cooked kale greens and "pot liquor." It's all in the freezer for now.