LOOKING for: How to prepare fresh Kale

sally_growerJanuary 11, 2009

Hi everyone, does anyone know how to prepare fresh Kale. I thought I did, but now....I think I don't. I'd sure appreciate some advice. Thanks a bunch! Sally

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The way I cook it most often is to cut out the tough stems,then wash well and do a rough chop so pieces are still fairly good sized:2"-3". In a large saucepan(3-4qt.) or 12" skillet heat about 2 Tblsp. olive oil and saute 2-3 sliced cloves of garlic until just starting to brown. Turn heat down to low-add kale and stir until coated with oil,add about 1/2 tsp salt-cover and cook until kale is wilted,about 10 minutes-stirring occasionally. You may have to add a few tablespoons of water or stock but usually there is enough water clinging to the leaves of the kale for it to cook. This is for one bunch of kale weighing about 1 lb.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 3:49PM
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Thanks Paddy, I'll give it a try. I like the idea of not boiling it to death. I wonder if I could saute some bacon in with that garlic for more flavor. I appreciate your help, it's for dinner tonight! Thanks again Sally

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 4:07PM
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Was going to mention bacon....
My grandmother just used bacon fat from the jar on the stove...(uck!)...bacona nd a bit o0f vinegar go well with kale.
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 4:26PM
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Thanks Linda...it's on the stove cooking as we speak, with a little bacon grease! I'll let ya know how it tastes.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 6:27PM
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Bacon grease would be fine but the wife's cholesterol is higher than it should be so I use olive oil. The recipe will also work with spinach as well as swiss chard. I cut the stems out of the chard and into pieces about 1 1/2 inches long then par boil them for a minute or two and add to the pan along with the leaves.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 10:25PM
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Well....I must say that my Kale was not a good experience. I prepared it with a small amount of Bacon grease and no water, which I think was the right way to cook it, but it was sooooo bitter that it was inedible. I grew kale may years ago, and after the cool weather came, it tasted wonderful. I'm not sure if freshness was a factor or what, but I won't be buying Kale again any time soon. Too bad, becasue I remember really liking it when I raised it. Anyway, thanks for all the advice, at least I learned how to cook it, so if ya learn something...it's not all bad!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 10:00AM
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I know that in the summer when the weather is hot it can be bitter but is usually not a problem this time of year. Try using spinach, it will take about a pound to feed four people, but it makes a nice side dish with an Italian meal.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 12:08PM
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Wow, I'm sorry about your bad experience with kale.

I just had some for lunch, but I chopped it and added it to white bean soup.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 4:51PM
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What I bought was already chopped and in a bag, I wonder if that might have caused it to be bad, and I still think that it might have been old!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 7:22PM
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To get rid of the bitterness, remove the ribs then chop and boil the leaves for two minutes. Cool leaves under running water, squeeze out the moisture then cook in your preferred fashion.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 5:22PM
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I was just online looking for a recipe for fresh kale and thought I would pass this one along to you all. BTW, My great aunt used to sautee fresh spinach with bacon but it never tasted as good when I tried it.

Sauteed Kale
1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 yellow onion, sliced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1/2 cup of vegetable broth or water
Sea salt and pepper, to taste (optional)


Warm olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or pan. Add onions and cook for 3-5 minutes or until slightly translucent. Be sure to stir the onions around once in a while so that they don't burn.

Add garlic and kale and mix them together with onions. Allow garlic, kale and onions to cook for one minute, then add vegetable broth and cover pot or pan for 4-6 minutes. Check kale from time to time starting at the 4 minute mark for tenderness.

Once kale is tender, add sea salt and just a few drops of lemon juice. Give it one last stir and serve.

Be sure to taste as you add lemon juice. Adding too much can turn the whole dish sour.

Below is a link to the website where I found the recipe.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sauteed Kale

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 3:09PM
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I did prepare the kale in the above recipe with a couple of alterations. I didn't have lemon juice so I used lemon pepper in place of the lemon juice, salt and pepper and I also cooked 1 slice of bacon and crumbled that in with the kale, onions and garlic....it was delicious. I don't normally eat greens as no one in our family likes them so I really enjoyed these.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 6:10PM
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When we were living in Holland, we enjoyed fresh chopped kale in the tradtional Dutch "stamppot". They sold bags of prewashed, finely chopped kale leaves and what the Dutch do is cook it with potatoes and then mash it (stamp it) with a bit of butter or meat fat and some salt and pepper. Served with smoked sausages and gravy.

There's a recipe on the 2nd page of the article I linked.


Here is a link that might be useful: Winter food in the Netherlands

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 2:59AM
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Well I can see that I may need to give this another try. But I think I'll wait until I can grow my own again. In the mean time, I've got some good recipes. I'm sure what I grow will be fresh and taste much better. Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 5:46PM
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My first time making Kale (last week): I first cubed tofu and fried in a little olive oil and garlic. I de-veined and washed the kale. I added right to the top of the tofu on the bottom of the pan. Covered and cooked on low. After about 6 minutes or so, I added more kale and then let cook, covered, on low for about 10 minutes. I also added pine nuts at the end. Topped with a little balsamic vineger. It was very tasty. The second time was the same except I added artichoke hearts and water chestnuts.

Tonight, I cooked the kale and tofu separately. I roasted some brocoli and tomatoes. Once the Kale was almost cooked, I put all together, covered, took off the heat and am letting it cool as I type. It will be my lunch tomorrow. People never know what I will be bringing in!! I also bought some danelion greens. I've never made them before or eaten them, but it's fun trying new things!!


    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 8:54PM
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I'm new posting here. I put it in Zuppa Toscana. Yummy. If you like, I'll go get my recipe and post it. Let me know.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 9:01AM
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I agree with the Zuppa Toscana suggestion. It's honestly the only way I've ever used kale. I love all sorts of greens, but I haven't branched out with kale. It's just soooo good in Zuppa Toscana, I'm almost afraid to mess with a good thing. :)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 2:17AM
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Sally, my experience has been that if it isn't young kale it isn't good. See if you can buy it from someone at a farmer's market or grow it yourself. Young Kale and that stuff you find in the grocery stores taste like two totally different items to me. It's as much difference as there is between a grocery store tomato and a home grown one.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 8:57PM
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missindia, I'd love to have your recipe for Zuppa Toscana. Thanks for the offer and
Beverly, I'm sure you are right about the Kale being young. I'm sure mine was NOT! It's on my list of things to grow this year. Thanks for the advice. Sally

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 8:36PM
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Sally, I always blanch my Kale before the final cooking. Take out stems , slice leaves into small strips, drop in boiling water until it is totally wilted ( 3-4 min.) then drain ..stir fry with garlic and olive oil..adding a little water or chicken broth before covering the pan. Reduce heat and cook for a few minutes until tender. The time depends on the age of your Kale. I usually pick mine when its young and tender ...not like the stuff in the grocery.
"Home grown" is so good that my grandaughter begs for seconds!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 3:45PM
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had Kale. Tonight first time. What do you serve it with?? Help Plezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 5:49PM
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found a really easy and quick way to separate the stems from the leaves.

left hand grabs hold of the leaf near the tip of the large-side of the stem (leaf pointing down)....
now...(still holding the large stem)
Take you other hand and using your thumb and index finger, "pinch" the stem breaking the leaf and pressing pretty tightly....drag your fingers down the length of the stem til you've completely separated the leaf from the stem...!

Save the Stems for smoothies...!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 8:04PM
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Everyone should try kale chips!! Tear or cut the tender leaf parts (not the thick stem) into large 'chip' sized pieces. Coat with olive oil (it does not take much olive oil) and whatever seasonings you would like (salt and crushed red pepper are our favs.) place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven until the edges start turning dark. My recipe says 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes but next time I am going to try a lower temp for a longer time to dry out the thicker parts more completely. YUM!!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:55PM
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Ok...my fav way is the salad I make. Most people like it (even my hubby) even people who think they don't want to eat kale. :
2T olive oil
1T lemon juice
2 tsp maple syrup
1tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Scant 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed
1/4 t black pepper

Mix all together. (I double it). It can be made ahead.
Mix the dressing with 6-8 oz kale (washed and pieces separated from stems)
Sprinkle with 1/4 c golden raisins and
1/4 c Toasted pine nuts (place in dry skillet ..stir for 3-5 minutes till lightly browned...watch carefully because they burn easily).
Serve immediately.

The amounts are totally changeable. I just put kale in a bowl and put the stuff on top. The secret is the delicious dressing. This salad keeps pretty well even with dressing on it. Doesn't get as soggy as regular lettuce would.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 5:58PM
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Second the Kale chips also known as Kale Crack because it is so addicting. I do mine at 250-300 & watch carefully after 6 or 7 minutes. If you don't tell people what it is they are more likely to try it.
Also love it added to Senate bean soup (Navy bean soup)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 1:49AM
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