How To Cook Curly Kale

4 12 2007

Cooked curly kaleCurly kale is one of those ingredients that you rarely find outside of veg boxes and farm shops.

It’s not your typical supermarket veggie.

That’s why so few of us know how to cook it.

I have to admit, it took me a while to warm to it – it used to be one of those guilt-inducing ingredients that lingered at the back of the fridge until it eventually went limply yellow and trotted to the compost bin.

But now I really enjoy it. So here are some super-quick, simple ideas for cooking kale:

  1. Cook kale like cabbage. Wash it well. Trim the tough stalks off. Slice up the leaves. Boil or steam until tender – about 5 minutes. Really tasty. But serve immediately as it tastes grim cold.
  2. Stir fry – trim the stalks and slice the leaves into strips. Stir fry in sesame oil in a wok for 5 minutes. Throw in a handful of sesame seeds and a little soy sauce or tamari.
  3. Hot! Hot! Hot! Trim stalks. Slice leaves. Steam or stir fry until tender. Mix with a tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce.
  4. Saute. Trim stalks. Slice leaves. Saute (covered) in a large pan in a little melted butter for up to 5 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning. Serve with some freshly grated nutmeg.
  5. Creamy. Trim stalks. Slice leaves. Peel & crush 2 cloves of garlic. Cook gently in a little oil with the kale for about 5 minutes, until soft. Stir in 2 tablespoons half fat creme fraiche. Season to taste.

As with all kale recipes, serve them immediately – ideally on warmed plates (just like Grannie used to!). It goes cold really quickly and doesn’t taste so good then.

Here’s a link to all the kale recipes on the VegBox Recipes website.

Do you have a favourite way of cooking kale?

Clare x

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64 responses

19 12 2007
Eveline

Hi!

As a Dutch person I love ‘Boerenkoolstamppot’, which is basically boiled kale with mashed potatoes (best to have it mixed up and then to have a bit more green then yellow). Traditionally you’d eat it with pieces of bacon and smoked sausage. Me being vegetarian eat it with Baco’s (soy, bacon flavour bits, yummie) and with a vegie sausage.
Also I love to put some vineger on it.

Eet Smakelijk!

13 07 2009
Hanneke

Hi, I’m half Dutch and grow kale in my garden -my Mum always serves silverskin onions and gerkins with boerenkool for the vinegar kick -another variant is to add grated cheese to the above recipe for a change (and caraway seeds!!) Yummy……and Mattesons smoked sausage.

13 07 2009
VegBox Recipes

Thanks for that, Hanneke… How is your home-grown kale coming along? Caraway seeds, huh? My great-gran used to love using those. I have to say I haven’t heard them mentioned for years!

13 07 2009
Hanneke

There is a Dutch cheese (Leidse kaas) which has caraway seeds in it -try it if you ever come accross it, its a great combination!

19 12 2007
Sue

With shiitake mushrooms, red onions and garlic – full of goodness – in a Marigold bouillon broth and a splash of shoyu sauce.

19 12 2007
Gwen

I LOVE KALE! One of the ways I offer to my nutrition clients is to eat kale raw, believe it; in this special salad the citrus softens the kales leaves:

KALE SALAD
This salad is actually a beautiful pink color due to the red cabbage. I’ve had kids call it the ‘pink salad’, and they liked it!

Ingredients:

1 head of kale, cut into bite sized pieces
½ head of red cabbage, chopped
2 large carrots, shredded
Big handful of parsley, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa
1 cup almonds, roasted no salt
1 block tofu (to be baked or buy it already baked)
¼ cup soy sauce of your choice

Dressing:

Juice of 5 lemons
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup Soy sauce of your choice
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp stone ground mustard
Black pepper to taste

Directions:

To bake the tofu: Heat oven to 160 C. Remove Tofu from the container and drain. Cut into one inch pieces, place in large bowl and stir ¼ cup Soy Sauce. Let sit for 10 minutes and allow soaking in. Place the Tofu on an oiled cookie sheet and bake for 40 – 45 minutes. (This step is not necessary if you find it already baked and marinated)

Meanwhile, cook the brown rice or quinoa and allow cooling.

Wash and dry Kale thoroughly. Combine all ingredients together and let sit for at least an hour (or as long as you can stand), as this will give the Kale a nicer mouth feel.

This recipe makes alot and will keep in the fridge for many days, or it can be halved.

19 12 2007
Rosie

Love kale too. I add it to some home made vegetable soup just before the end of cooking.
+
Delicious stir fried in a little olive oil with chopped onion and fresh grated ginger ( dried ginger is too harsh) I add a dash of black pepper – wonderful as a nice extra side dish.

20 12 2007
Cat

Wash the ka.e add some garlic salt and black pepper – put it in the oven ( a high heat for 20 mins until dries out and crispy – similar to crispy seaweed

21 12 2007
John Parsons

Kale has been one of my fav veggies for the past 33 years, I’m 40 next week. I love it boiled, 4 mins tops (with lots of salt), with lamb and boiled or roast pots and good gravey, good gravet is importtant. If you manage to still be getting kale in April try it with new seasons lamd (milk lamb).

Also try it sauted with chorizo, add garlic, parsley, lemon juice & olive oil towards the end of cooking. If you need to bulk it up a bit add a tin of butter beans

Cold kale use it in bubble & squeak with any type of left over potatoe, great for a quick meal on Monday night if you have had a roast on Sunday, to have with either the cold meat left over, a poached egg or bacon.

7 01 2008
Dawn

I agree with Rosie, I made a veggy soup with kale as the main ingredient.
After whizzing the soup in the blender, it came out a brilliant colour and tasted fantastic.

I also fried off the rest with garlic, black pepper, mushrooms and chopped bacon – tastie!

7 06 2008
Heleen

I totally agree with Eveline. I’ve been in the UK for 1.5 years now and I finally found a bag of Curly Kale at Tesco’s.
Just for the people from Holland who have been looking for it:
I believe that Curly Kale is the same as our Boerenkool.
Also, if you like the Unox sausage with your Boerenkool, at Tesco they sell the same kind of sausage which tastes very similar to the Unox ones. Just look in the meat section near the sliced cooked ham, it’s called: Mattessons Smoked Pork Sausage.

http://www.tesco.com/superstore/xpi/2/xpi50971882.htm

Enjoy!

14 09 2008
Jeanette

Years ago it was unheard of for my Granny or Mother not to add Kale to soup. I find it really difficult to get so have to grow it to see me through the winter. I freeze it whole (Not chopped) and when I want to use it I give the bag a good bashing and because it is still frozen it goes into smithereens so saving on all that chopping.

14 09 2008
Clare

What great ideas – I’m almost looking forward to kale again this winter!
And Jeanette – what a fab idea for saving time – freeze it whole and bash the bag. Will definitely be giving that one a go.
Thanks,
Clare

7 10 2008
Esther

this is a great way of exchanging food recipes – love curly kale myself!
if anyone writing or reading this would like to hear more about a food show im working on please email esther.barnett@12yard.com
Ideally London/Home Counties based

Happy cooking
Esther

17 10 2008
Charlotte

I found my Kale at Lidl, it was a bargain too for a massive bag! I’m from German heritage so always go there or Aldi to get cured meats and sausages and ‘unusual’ veg (mainly pickled!) as they have a much better imported selection than other supermarkets. My Polish friends swear by them too! Think i might have to try to that Dutch recipe, sounds right up my street, thanks Heleen!

12 01 2009
kirsty

Just tried the creamy kale idea. It was lovely alongside a chickpea and chorizo casserole. Will try the other ideas too.

Thanks

13 01 2009
VegBox Recipes

Kirsty – glad you had a kale success! Next time you try one of the ideas here, how about taking a piccie and emailing it to claire.vandenbosch@vegbox-recipes.co.uk. We’d love to add it to our website, credited to you of course : )

13 01 2009
VegBox Recipes

Esther – we’d love to hear about that food show! What’s the news?

Charlotte – great tip re Lidl. Does anyone here buy their veg from Morrisons? I saw a TV ad recently that indicated that they’re very pro locally sourced produce:

http://tinyurl.com/morrisonsad

What’s your opinion? It is common to read passionate articles (including our own!) about buying locally sourced food direct from farms, box schemes or at least local greengrocers.

Yet I read a great article on CivilEats today (http://tinyurl.com/civileatsarticle), advocating giving our support to the big supermarkets if they are driving to source locally:

“And while companies like WalMart are certainly a mixed bag, at best, when it comes to green we need to continue to support their move toward organics and toward localized distribution. It is these large companies that will change the world, if by their size alone.”

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

11 07 2009
Haddock Veracruz Style (Priego Remix) « Never Neutral

[...] The Priego recipe accompanies the fish with boiled new potatoes and a steamed green veg such as broccoli or curly kale. [...]

19 09 2009
Aaha

I have just grown curly kale for the 1st time , picked some today and didn’t have a clue what to do with it , then I found your site and can’t wait to try all the recipes , thanks to everyone who put the recipe’s on , Now I need a recipe for celeriac , first time ever with this vegatable as well .

19 09 2009
clairepvdb

Hi there Dorothy! Pop on over to our site, http://www.ooffoo.com, and type celeriac in the search box. Glad the kale recipes were useful. What else are you cooking?

7 07 2010
malc

i have grown some curly kale and have just tasted it for the first time i cooked it in butter it didnt taste bad but was very chewy. we dont like it anyone living near to us is welcome to it

16 07 2010
VegBox Recipes

Thanks for your post, Malc.

Sounds like you’re not a great curly kale fan … Perhaps you could try again, cooking it for a bit longer? We have loads of recipes (including making Kale Pesto) for you to hide it away in if you don’t find any takers and don’t want to waste it … http://vegbox-recipes.co.uk/ingredients/kale.php

3 09 2010
may posse

I wish I could find where to comment on the veg box recipes!!!

6 09 2010
VegBox Recipes

Hi May – if you mean on the actual website, then I’m afraid we’ve decided against having a comment functionality. But do feel free to post your comments here on the blog.

We look forward to hearing from you,

The VegBox Recipes Team

10 12 2010
beegee

curly kale ? I was as “brought up “on it as a wee fella in Northern Ireland !

10 12 2010
beegee

curly kale? I was “brought up on it as a wee fella in Northern Ireland!

5 01 2011
Mary

I was just delighted to come across these recipes and the comments. I grew up in Scotland and kale was a constant in our diet but we never ate it as a vegetable, but always in soup. My granny used to say she was “making a pot of kale” but this was a vegetable broth with barley and of course lots of kale. Living in Australia for the past 40 years I have been deprived of kale – till now. i have a healthy crop in the garden and looking forward to trying some new recipes.

10 08 2011
vegan1

Hi all kale lovers!
Have just had my very first taste of this delicious veg. I bought it by accident, it was mixed up with cabbage plants at the garden centre. I planted them in our allotment and we have got a really good crop. I have just had it with veggie bacon, roasted pots and corn on the cob. Look forward to putting in soup over the winter. I am going to freeze as much as I can!

15 08 2011
Sally

Have grown curly kale for first time –and wounder when & how I should pick it

One leaf at at time or whole plant?

15 08 2011
Mary

As a Scot I grew up with curly kale as a main ingredient in a hearty winter soup. Have never warmed to it as a veg on its own but there are masses of recipes on the web. Have seen it substituted for spinach in a pie. I have been growing it in Tasmania for two seasons and getting a terrific yield. Try it chopped up finely in a veg soup with chicken or lamb stock – delicious.

6 10 2011
Eve

At my wits end to get my 15 month old eating veg so I bought curly kale thinking no way will he go for it, mashed up rooster potatoes, butter salt n pepper, added in boiled curly kale couldn’t get it to mash so I whizzed it roughly, well my son lapped it up, delighted I am coz all he’ll eat for me is yoghurt, fruit, cereal and spaghetti bolognese. Woohoo for curly kale :)

11 10 2011
chris

i like this article, very nice share. so i want to rewrite this to post in my blog with your link

31 12 2011
Steve

Just tried cooking the curly kale with bacon, I just fried the bacon in a skillet added the curly kale and cooked through for five mins. Keep moving the kale around to make sure it dosent burn, tasted great

3 02 2012
Jean, Cheshire

Last spring I found myself longing for some kale. I was surprised as I was brought up in Scotland on lots of kale and loathed it as a child. We bought some kale plants at a garden centre and planted it. In May I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I later read that kale is one of the best foods to prevent cancer. Could my body have been telling me something? By the way, we have had a lovely crop from the plants and I am just off to cook some. Thank you for the delicious recipes.

13 02 2012
Gillian Anderson

“Curly kale is one of those ingredients that you rarely find outside of veg boxes and farm shops.

It’s not your typical supermarket veggie.”

This is laughable and smacks of elitist arrogance. Both my local Lidl and Sainsbury’s regularly stock kale and I alternate between it and spinach in my vegetarian recipes.

8 10 2012
ernie mcdonald

I have a green drink daily using kale also kale in salads and sauteed veggies using curly kale this can b e found in your local market.

13 10 2012
john

my favourite way of cooking kale is sticking it up my bum

9 12 2012
Helen Rennie-Smith

Thank you Clare! I tried your idea of sauteeing the cale and adding a touch of nutmeg just before serving and it went fantastic with our Sunday roast. Brilliant reciepe

9 12 2012
Clare

Hi Helen, Really happy to hear you enjoyed it. I also love it with crushed garlic. And my current favourite way is to shred the leaves and coat them with tamari (a wheat-free soy sauce). Leave them to marinade for half an hour and they soften up – no cooking at all. Simply delicious and super nutritious. Enjoy! Clare

29 09 2013
Anne Butler

my husband decided to grow some curly Kale and we now have heaps-not quite sure when to pick it but will find out!! all these recipes have given me ideas-as he didn’t even know what it was before he planted it all
!!

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How To Cook Curly Kale | VegBox Recipes Blog

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