Kale Stem Pickles

cookie8August 9, 2014

I grew a lot of kale this year and don't really care for the stems when I use it up. I was at the farmer's market today and came across pickled garlic scapes. I would imagine you could do the same with kale stems? Anyone big on pickling? I'm not at all but wouldn't mind trying.

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I couldn't find a tested recipe for pickled kale stems.

You can roast them for 10-15 minutes in the oven and I've used the recipe at the link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Kale Stem and Parsley Pesto

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 4:49PM
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Unfortunately pine nuts and cow dairy is out for me. Thinking of making a garlic spread? Kale stems, garlic, goat cheese and olive oil, s&p. I usually just compost the stems but having so much growing, I really should use the whole thing up. I will try roasting some stems. Thanks.
Do you think it would be bad to try to pickle them as you would garlic scapes?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 9:09PM
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There are a lot of kale pickle recipes on the web, but I've never tried one. I hope you'll let us know what you end up doing.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 9:29PM
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I don't see why any pickle recipe that would be safe for garlic scapes or peppers wouldn't be safe for kale stems. Linda Ziedrich has a recipe for purslane stems, maybe that would work.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 6:48AM
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As a certified home canning instructor, I will only suggest using tested recipes that follow USDA standards. These are recipes that have been developed and tested for pH levels, heat penetration of the food, as well as tested after it has been shelved for bacteria.

The only commercial book that uses USDA standards is the Ball Blue Book, and we can always check at the National Center for Home Food Preservation for up-to-date canning information and recipes, or check with your local County Extension Office.

I don't see why anyone would want to use untested recipes, or make something up based on another food entirely? There are more bacteria, and more deadly bacteria than existed 20-25-years ago, therefore it's more important than ever to follow safe recipes, use safe canning practices, and never make up your own recipes.

If you do make up your own recipes, please avoid giving the food to anyone who has a compromised immune system, is on medication for any disease/condition, children and the elderly. While a healthy person may be able to survive botulism, others may not.

I'll relate this story from the National Center for Home Food Preservation as written in "Food Preservation: Follow Recipe to Ensure Safety, Success": A 62-year old woman dipped a finger into the juice in home canned carrots. She was hospitalized two days later after feeling dizzy and having difficulty walking. She was still hospitalized six months later, but lucky to be alive after ingesting Clostridium botulinum.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 10:56AM
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Well, I didn't really have plans to make a large batch (multiple jars) but something more on the lines of one jar and eating it right away. I am really unfamiliar with canning. Is that considered safe? Just processing as you normally would then consuming them within, say, one month, being refrigerated the whole time, of course. Probably comparable to refrigerator pickles.
Years ago, I made 10 jars of pickled beets and asked a question of it later and turned out the method I used was questionable so I ended up tossing all of it. I do prefer to be safe than sorry.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 11:56AM
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Do a Google search for Kale Stem Pickles and you'll find lots of recipes for them. If you're keeping them in the fridge rather than preserving them, you just need to find a recipe that sounds tasty to you and try it!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 4:20PM
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Here's what I do with broccoli stalks. My husband adores it.

I bet it will work with kale -- I hope so, because I have some tough stems in my garden, too.

It's just a refrigerator pickle; eat it soon. I'm always throwing chunks of extra vegetables -- turnips, radishes, cauliflower, whatever is around -- into jars of any kind of pickle juice I have leftover. Healthy, not fattening, and "free"!

This is enough for the stalks from one bunch of broccoli

Broccoli (or kale!) Pickle

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 medium size garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil

Peel broccoli stems and cut into sticks or coins (or trim kale as desired). Put in a jar with the salt, shake it up, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Next day, pour off the accumulated water. Add the garlic, oil, and vinegar and shake it up to mix. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 6:55PM
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I've been making fridge pickles with weekend garden harvests. Chard and kale stems, rat tail radishes, early baby carrots, early baby string beans, diced rhubarb...with vinegars and herbs and baby fresh garlic. Just 3-5 day fridge pickles for salads when our early harvest is abundant but 20 veggies are giving just a few fruits each.
As plllog mentioned, google a few recipes and give it a try...for canning and long term storage i would want a very safe method, but fresh fridge pickles are safe and so good.
We have been working lots of overtime but have Sunday brunch with cheeses and fruits and cured meats and various pickles from the garden...a real treat being so busy.

Exhausted, we have been eating fresh from the vine...the first tomatoes and peas and beans and beets and cukes, but i've had some energy spurts to pickle a bit of it all.
I have three jars in the fridge i made Sunday night using different savory recipes and they seem to all be good....all a bit different.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:32PM
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How do you think any of these would work with turnip stems? I am buried in them.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:38PM
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