Clagett Farm Recipes~ Making Kale a Kitchen Friend
Photos and Recipes~Rita Calvert 2007
The beautiful leaves of the kale plant provide an earthy flavor and more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food around. Although it can be found in markets throughout the year, it is in season from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring when it has a sweeter taste and is more widely available.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family, a group of vegetables including cabbage, collards and Brussels sprouts that have gained recent widespread attention due to their health promoting, sulfur-containing phytonutrients. It is easy to grow and can grow in colder temperatures where a light frost will produce especially sweet kale leaves.
Kale + Foraging At The Farm
So now you’re informed on the kale front, but have you spent time getting to know some of the wild bounty growing at Clagett? Last week some gals introduced me to Lamb’s Quarters which just took hold near the kids’ pizza garden. (Ask Carrie). This green is good cooked or raw and when the leaves are tossed in a salad they have a nice nutty flavor.
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 cup water
1 pound kale, tough stems removed then cut into 1-inch wide ribbons
6 garlic scapes, thinly sliced (I use the bud at the top plus the stem)
2 cups loosely packed lamb’s quarters leaves (from the “foraging field”)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
splash soy sauce or tamari (to your liking)
fresh cilantro leaves
Place the sesame oil and water in a large skillet, bring to a boil steam the kale for 5 minutes, covered (of course). Add the garlic scapes, lamb’s quarters and steam 2 more minutes. Stir in the ginger root, garlic, cayenne and soy sauce.
Below are a slew of recipes for kale and collards to play with and keep in your files.
SPICY RICE AND KALE
2 1/4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth 1 1/2 teaspoons Creole or Cajun seasoning 1 cup converted white rice 4 ounces kale (about 1/2 large bunch), stems and ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped (2 cups packed)
Bring broth and Creole seasoning to boil in heavy large saucepan. Stir in rice and kale and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
Serves 4. Per serving: calories, 204; total fat, 2 g; saturated fat, 0.5 g; cholesterol, 1 mg. Bon Appétit February 1999 Cooking For Health
LENTIL, KALE, AND SAUSAGE SOUP
a 2 1/2-inch piece smoked kielbasa, sliced thin 1 teaspoon vegetable oil if necessary 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 small onion, sliced thin 1/2 cup lentils, picked over 1 1/2 cups water 1 1/2 cups chicken broth 1/2 small bunch kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves sliced thin (about 2 cups) 1 tablespoon balsamic or red-wine vinegar
In a 3-quart heavy saucepan brown sausage over moderate heat and transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. If there is more than 1 teaspoon fat in pan pour off excess; if there is less, add enough oil to measure 1 teaspoon fat. Cook garlic, stirring, until golden. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened.
Add lentils, water, broth, and sausage and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Add kale and simmer, uncovered, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Makes about 3 cups. Gourmet
BEAN AND KALE SOUP
Soup: A Way of Life by Barbara Kafka
1 bunch kale, trimmed 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus additional to taste 2 flat anchovy fillets 1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves or dried 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil 2 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled 1 cup (225 g) cooked small white beans or drained and rinsed canned beans 4 cups (1 liter) chicken stock freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1/2 cup (60 g) small shell macaroni freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
In a medium saucepan, cook the kale with 1/2 cup (125 ml) water and the salt over medium heat until tender. Drain the kale, reserving any liquid that remains. Coarsely chop the kale.
Very finely chop anchovies together with the rosemary.
In a medium saucepan, stir together the oil and garlic over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is pale gold, about 10 minutes. Stir in the anchovies and rosemary. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Discard the garlic. Stir in the kale and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to thoroughly coat it with the oil. Stir in the beans. Cook for 3 minutes.
Stir in the reserved cooking liquid and the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and stir in the macaroni. Boil for 6 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Pass Parmesan cheese at the table.
Makes about 5 cups (1.25 liters); 4 first-course servings.
RICE WITH KALE AND TOMATOES
1/2 cup long-grain unconverted rice 1 small garlic clove, minced 1 tablespoon olive oil a 14-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained, seeded, and chopped 2 cups finely chopped rinsed kale leaves
In a small heavy saucepan bring 1 cup water to a boil, add the rice and salt to taste, and cook the rice, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. In a heavy skillet cook the garlic in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is golden, add the tomatoes and the kale, and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the kale is tender. Fluff the rice with a fork and in a bowl combine well the rice, the kale mixture, and salt and pepper to taste. Gourmet 1990
GREENS AND BULGUR GRATIN
1/2 cup coarse bulgur* 2 pounds assorted greens such as kale, collard, escarole, spinach, Swiss chard, and/or mustard greens 6 large garlic cloves, minced or 1 bunch green garlic! 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 ounce) 6 ounces chilled whole-milk or part-skim mozzarella, grated coarse
For topping 1/2 cup fine fresh bread crumbs 1 tablespoon olive oil
*available at natural foods stores and specialty foods shops
In a heat proof bowl pour enough boiling water over bulgur to cover by 1 inch. Cover bowl with a plate to trap steam and let stand 20 minutes. Drain bulgur in a large fine sieve, pressing out excess liquid, and transfer to a bowl.
Keeping each variety of green separate, tear greens into bite-size pieces, discarding stems. Still keeping greens separate, wash thoroughly by dunking in a sinkfull of water and transfer to a colander to drain.
Put coarser greens (kale or collard) in a 4 1/2- to 5-quart kettle and steam in water clinging to leaves, covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add delicate greens (escarole, spinach, Swiss chard, and/or mustard) to coarse greens and steam, covered, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain greens in colander, pressing out excess liquid.
In a large heavy skillet cook garlic in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until softened but not golden. Stir in greens and bulgur and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in Parmesan and remove skillet from heat.
Preheat oven to 400¡F. and lightly oil a 1 1/2-quart gratin dish or other shallow baking dish.
Spread half of greens mixture in dish and sprinkle evenly with mozzarella. Spread remaining greens mixture over mozzarella and smooth top with a rubber spatula. Gratin may be prepared up to this point 8 hours ahead and chilled, covered.
Make topping: In a small bowl with a fork stir together bread crumbs and oil until crumbs are evenly moistened.
Sprinkle topping over greens mixture and bake in middle of oven 30 minutes, or until bubbling and top is browned lightly. Gourmet September 1995
Greens and Ricotta Pie
1 lg head Swiss chard (or other greens) about 1&3/4 pounds 1 Tablespoon olive oil 1 bunch green onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 4 large eggs 1 container (15 oz) part skim ricotta cheese 3/4 cup low fat milk 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 9&1/2-inch deep dish glass pie plate. Trim off two inches from swiss chard stems, discard ends. Seperate stems from leaves, thinly slice stems and coarsly chop leaves. In nonstick 12-inch skiller, heat oil until hot. Add sliced stems and cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add green onions, salt, and pepper and cook 1 min. Gradually add chopped leaves until wilted and excess moisture evaporates, about 5 min. In a large bowl, with wire whisk or fork, mix eggs, ricotta, milk, parmesan and cornstarch. Stir in swill-chard mixture. Transfer mixture to pie plate. Bake pie 40 minutes or until knife inserted 2 inches from center comes out clean. 6 main dish servings.
Corn Bread Stuffing with Greens from Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters
1 recipe corn bread (see below) 1 bunch greens (chard, kale, etc.)1/2 to 3/4 of a pound olive oil 1 small onion 2 cloves garlic 1/2 pound bacon or smoked sausage (vegetarians can substitute celery) 1 sprig thyme a few sage leaves a few sprigs parsley 1 egg 1/4 cup milk S & P
Crumble the corn bread into a large mixing bowl. Wash and trim the greens, chip roughly, and cook until tender in a little olive oil. Peel and the dice the onion. Peel and chop the garlic. Dice the bacon (if using sausage or celery, cut it into chunks) and saute it in a tablespoon of olive oil. When it has begun to render its fat,add the onion and cook until softened, but not too brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, stirring quickly to prevent it from burning. Remove from the heat and add to the corn bread. Finely chop the leaves of the thyme and sage; there should be about 1/2 teaspoon each. Finely chop enough parsley to make about 2 teaspoons. Add the herbs; the cooked greens; the egg, lightly beaten; and the milk to the bowl with the corn bread. Mix well. Add more milk if the mixture looks too dry. Season with S & P. Makes 4 cups, enough for 2 chickens.