When I'm doing my produce stall at the local community markets people ask me how kale is cooked. It may be the big time wonder food at the moment, but what do you do with the stuff?
Each to their own, because there are lots of ways to eat your kale...or disguise it, if that's your hope.
The Dutch mix it with mashed potatoes to make Stamppot. The Turks use it in a tasty rice salad -- Karalahana Salatasi. The Italians dress up a pork stew with it. The Greeks use young kale raw in a salad . For Afro Americans , Kale -- aka Collard Greens -- is a core ingredient in Soul Food. You can also use it in stir fries (but best to use curly leaf kale).
But I prefer to throw it into minced meat fry ups... usually for breakfast.
- fry 500 grams of minced meat (beef, chicken or pork...I prefer lamb)
- when browning away, throw in some chopped garlic and spring onions (or normal onions)
- add chopped fresh chilli (if you want) but the clincher spice, I reckon, is cumin. I prefer cumin seed. And lots of it -- a heaped teaspoon at least of the seed.
- you can add chopped peppers/capsicum if you have some...or some chopped fresh herbs like parsley or coriander.
- then throw in chopped kale. This dish can take a lot of kale so you tweak it to suit your taste buds.
- add salt and pepper and let the contents of the pan sweat and stew.
- you can eat the dish as is or with a preferred accompaniment. On toast? With spuds?As a toastee sandwich filling...I like to eat it as is with dollops of Greek yogurt...and a cup of black coffee.
I love this dish because the mix is cheap, easy and quick to cook -- and ever so tasty. Great breakfast fare if you are into the morning fry up.
Over the cooler months I'm using kale in this dish but when Summer kicks in, and the kales don't thrive, I switch to my favorite vegetable: katuk (aka Sweet Leaf). Katuk is one of the most popular leaf vegetables in South Asia and Southeast Asia. The short tips have been sold as tropical asparagus...but you'd be lucky to buy the leaves anywhere locally.
I grow it...and the irony is that katuk isn't an everyday grow-near-the-ground veg, but a small tree that's deciduous in the sub tropics. And after you've tasted katuk it's hard to indulge the other greens. Note one of its many names: Sweet Leaf...
You go harvest yourself some katuk by cutting off a branch or two, then shred the leaves into your cooking pot. Stir fry. Soup. Salads. Stews...Katuk will perform.
Almost unknown in Australia, Katuk grows well in Beachmere's sandy soils and, to add to the attraction, prefers shade.
Of related tree-veg interest is Moringa -- the Drumstick tree --whose properties I'll explore in another post. Again Moringa grows well in our ganules and is another stir fry, soup, stew and steam option.