Kale has in the resent past has had a renaissance and has become so popular as to inspire a tantalizing cook book of the time, “Fifty Shades of Kale.” However this unassuming veggie had a quiet start in the Mediterranean and became a staple food during the middle ages in Europe. Kale is Brassica Oreacea and so is related to brussel sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli just to name a few. Kale has classifications within its own family base on the leaf, whether it is flat or curly, green or purple. The variety is so vast that some plants are even used in a decorative capacity.
Most recipes for kale require breaking down the leaf in someway. For example, it can be eaten raw after marinading in an acidic juice, like lemons, for about an hour then add oil, nuts, cheese and berries to your taste. Another way to break down the kale is to cook it. Kale chips simply require olive oil and salt then heat on a cookie sheet at 300* for 10-20 mins or until crispy, creating a perfect snack.
Health benefits of kale are numerous as it is full of vitamin K, C, calcium and beta carotene. Historically, during times of limited rations, many cultures turned to kale to complete their dietary needs and maintain them through the tough times.
Receipt of the Week 6/21/14 with free samples at the Farmer’s Market in Concord.
Kale Pasta Salad
2 cups all purpose flour
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 c. Vegetable Ranch Kale juice.
Place 1 bunch of Vegetable Ranch Kale into a juicer. The juice from Kale will be used for this portion of receipt. The pulp will be used for pasta filling (see below). Mix dry ingredients together. Place on counter top with center of ingredients empty forming a bowl shape into which the Kale juice, egg and olive oil will go all mixed together. Don’t miss any juice feel free to add water as needed to rinse out juicer or mixing bowel. Place dough into fridge for at least an hour but can be up to a day to allow it to rest.
1 C. Ricotta cheese
1 bunch Vegetable Ranch Kale pulp
1/4 c lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1/2 c Romano Cheese
Mix Kale pulp and lemon juice first ensure that it is well mixed. Then add cheeses and garlic.
Roll out pasta dough into thin sheets. Brush with egg wash. Drop small spoon fills on one sheet of pasta then cover other sheet of pasta. Press out air around filling and cut pasta into squares with the filling inside. Once formed these ravioli will last in fridge for several days if desired though can be cooked immediately as well as pasta is normally cooked.
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 garlic scallion
1/4c lemon juice
1/4c olive oil
Mix all ingredients together then add cooked pasta in a large mixing bowl.
This receipt is great for kid involvement. Many of the steps are fun for all to enjoy and the great color of the Kale makes the dough more enjoyable and entertaining. The taste of the final product may be more suited however to more developed palates with the lemon juice and mustard creating a pleasant robust tart and tangy taste.