“Eat you greens” they say! And when you look the nutritional makeup of this vitamin-loaded brassica, you start to understand why…
Curly, smooth, green, purple or black, whatever your preference, kale is packed full of body-boosting vitamins A, C and K and a super source of omega and calcium; great for vegans and the dairy-free eaters within us.
With the best yield appearing after a long and heavy frost, kale flourishes throughout the winter months, and has particularly taken to the moderate British climate. World War II was the turning point for this leafy green vegetable, becoming the driving force behind the success of the Dig for Victory campaign. Naturally easy to grow and bursting with nutrients, it was the essential nutritional supplement to an nation’s otherwise very deprived diet.
Although kale can be cooked in various ways; fried, roasted, boiled or sautéed, to get the most out of your greens, keep cooking this vegetable to a minimum. This allows the nutrients to remain intact and for the flavour to do all the talking!
With so many varieties of this charming leaf, be sure to make good use of all the types available. Our particular favourites are; traditional kale with smooth leaves, curly kale that offers great texture and cavolo nero otherwise known as black kale.
We have found curly kale makes the best crisps with their wrinkling leaves and mild flavour. We love this sea salt and black pepper chip recipe.
Use flat leaf kale for sauces and dressing like this British twist on a Italian classic; Kale and Walnut Pesto. Smooth or flat leaf kale has great flavour but its bitterness is counteracted with oil and citrus based ingredients. Nuts are also great for enhancing its nutty, earthy flavours.
Cavolo nero’s piquant flavour makes it an interesting addition to warm and cold salads. Its sweet aftertaste means its perfectly balanced with acidic fruit and the earthiness of root vegetables. This kale salad with root vegetable and apple is the perfect example.
Words by Helen Upshall