11 March 2014

Harvesting and cooking the kale

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.


  1. Kale is now thought to be a "super food", very good for you. Until recently it was just cattle food here.

    I was looking at a recipe for kale and apple cake the other day, the sweet kind of afternoon tea cake, not the savoury French style of cake. It sounded delicious, a sort of cross between courgette cake and your apple cake I imagine. It was very green!
    One day, when all my baking tins are settled somewhere, I will bake it.

  2. Another Kale recipie for you - Kale crisps. Wash and dry, pick out the fat stalks, toss is a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then pop into the oven on a baking tray for half an hour.

  3. Now, there's a load of fresh and healthy!

  4. It's our collard greens that are climbing in seeds, along with the cavolo nero. The red russian kale are still going. That looks a really tasty recipe!


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