Kale

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Another week in May means more seasonal produce! The highlight today is kale—a member of the cabbage family. There are a wide variety of kale variants, with the most common being Scots kale.  Kale can be enjoyed raw, braised, blanched, baked and tons of other ways! Due to the numerous ways it can be prepared without losing nutritional value, it is widely considered a superfood. There are many other greens that are healthy, but kale takes the top position with tons of nutritional benefits and low calories.

Picking the freshest kale for your dishes truly depends on the type of kale you choose. For instance, with a Scots kale you’ll want to keep an eye out for rich green leaves, whereas with red Russian kale you’ll want the leaves to be bright purple. Overall, one thing to keep an eye out for all types of kale is to make sure the leaves aren’t yellow, bruised, or have any holes. However, if you don’t plan to use your kale as soon as you purchase it, you can make it last longer by blanching the vegetable briefly before storing it in the freezer, which allows the kale to be stored for up to a year.

To find out where you can find kale at the markets, check out our blog for a complete list of vendors that sell it!

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Kale

Recipe adapted from bon appétit

The following recipe was kept closely to the original, but a variety of vegetables can be added for additional flavor such as capers, pepperoncini, tomatoes, or any others.

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Ingredients

  • Kosher salt

  • 3 large or 4 smaller bunches of kale, any type

  • 5 garlic cloves

  • ¼ cup of olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 12 oz spaghetti, thick spaghetti, bucatini or other long strand pasta

  • Parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes (for serving)

  • Sea salt

Preparation

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

Strip kale leaves from ribs and stems. Tear leaves into strips. Cook kale in boiling water until bright green and slightly softened (about 2 minutes). Toss kale into colander and rinse under cold water.

With the same pot of water, keep at a boil. It’ll be used for the pasta.

Crush garlic and peel off the skins. Heat ¼ cup oil in a large pot over medium. Cook garlic, stirring occasionally, until sizzling.

Season garlic generously with black pepper. Cook until cloves break apart.

Add kale to pot of garlic and stir until it’s darker and very tender. During this time the garlic will break up even more.

Season this mixture with kosher salt and pepper.

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RecipesLiz Connor