Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kale: A Metaphor For Living

Until recently, I never even thought of cooking kale for dinner.  In fact, I really didn't know what it was - nor did I care.  But things have changed for me as the "fruits" of my CSA share have dwindled into the crops that survived our October Blizzard - and KALE is a big winner on that front!
Just for the record, kale is a form of cabbage (Brassica oleracea Acephala Group) but thel leaves do not form a head. Like its "cousins" (broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, and bBrussels sprouts), kale is low in calories but high in vitamins particularly K, C and calcium.
When I did a bit of research on kale, I found out that until the Middle Ages, kale was one of the most common green vegetables in all of Europe. During World War II, kale was an iimportant veggie in home gardens on both sides of the pond. 
I've now tried quite a few ways of cooking and eating this magnificent veggie. Add some risotto and it is full of calories, flavor and will remain in your heart all night long.  Blanch it and then stir fry a huge pile of leaves, and you will have a feast. 
The bad news, and of course there is always something wrong with every meal, is that the prep time for kale is huge.  You have to wash and then "devein" and then drain and then cook and drain some more.  While all that IS a lot more work than popping a bag of microwavable veggies in the silver box on the counter, the nutritional and comfort level that comes from kale cannot be beat.  I am NOW SO SORRY I went SO many years before I tried it. 
Now, I need to start figuring out what other aspects of life I might have missed...I  need to make sure I do not "miss" all the other -not-yet-known-to-me great things this life has to offer (the pyramids? some great beach? a special person or two?).  While I had a pretty good life out there before kale, it has grown better with kale! 

No comments: