kale and broccolini

Why oh why don’t they sell kale and brocolini in Europe. It is so bizarre !

Yes……you can find kale : cavolo nero,or dinosaur kale in Italy when it is in season…November to spring , but nowhere in France,where it is called chou but chou is also the same word for cabbage, so that is confusing , and definitely not in Spain.

I bring seeds in my suitcases when I travel and i give them to my friends with gardens in the hope that one day they will plant them and surprise me with a mountain of kale.

So as soon as I hit California and my  farmer’s market in the East Bay Area I go crazy buying organic kale and heirloom broccolini and eat it every day . It is in season all year around.

To prepare the broccolini you just put them on a shallow roasting pan, dribble some oil over them, some Maldon salt (large sea salt flakes ) and chilli flakes, and roast at medium heat (350 to 450 ) heat for 10 minutes till crunchy and done.

With the kale use the dinosaur kale for roasting until crispy. First wash and dry well then you just tear it off the hard stems, put it on a shallow roasting pan with a dribble of olive oil and some Maldon salt and put under the grill for 5 /7 minutes or until crunchy .

I serve both these on top of some simple quinoa or basmati rice and I have myself a perfect meal.

In the winter I will use it in my thick vegetable soups with cannellini beans.

The curly kale can be chopped up and eaten raw as a salad with lemon juice and olive oil , and the flat-leaf kale I usually just sautèed with garlik and chilli flakes .For best results , when making kale salad ,let it sit all chopped up in your oil and lemon for at least 30 mins, otherwise it will be hard. Also , if you find baby kale, use that instead for salads, it is tender and full of flavor without the rough stalks and hard leaves to chew on.

Kale is a super-food so eat up !  It lowers cholesterol,lowers the risk of many types of cancer,it is detoxifying,anti-oxidant,anti-inflammatory,it contains a lot of fiber, vitamin K, vitamin A  , calcium …..

I will bring some seeds again next time I am in Spain and see if any of my kind gardener friends will plant some for me to harvest and share.






At my farmer’s market…..about 15 varieties of kale and chards every week.  Here a selection of dinosaur and curly kale.




This is what it should look like when you shred it in a baking oven pan


and this is what the broccolini should look like with the chilly


and this is once grilled


Update from 14 December 2013

Thanks to the folk at The Kale Project Paris   I have now been finding kale at the Marche Bio of the Boulevard Raspail , but only the curly one….will start a big hunt for the dinosaur kind which is the one I like. There was also a kale article in this weekend’s Liberation newspaper , but the writers only used the hard curly kale to try to make kale chips with and failed and gave it a bad rating…grrrrrr….. i wish someone would tell the French that you need to take the hard stalks out before you cook it , and that only the dinosaur kale is easy to cook in a crunchy way , and that if you want to make kale salad either chop up in very small pieces your curly or dinosaur kale and let it sit in the oil and vinegar for at least 30 mins , or use BABY KALE which is tender . Anyway , big shout out to The Kale Project…..you rock !

For juicing , all kales are good but be careful about overdoing it since consuming too much kale affects you thyroid  , and you can only consume too much if you drink it. If you are interested to know how read this article from the New York Times here.

and ps…. Liberation…stop calling kale the new IT food….kale has been around forever and if the French did not use it before it is not because they did not have it . Now they do and hopefully they will learn how to use it and not diss it as the new trendy thing to be forgotten in 2 years .

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