|Winterbor Kale with Rainbow Chard|
Call me a garden geek or a vegetable virtuoso or a kitchen kook but I get sooooo excited about experimenting with different types of vegetables and new ways of preparing them.
So pardon me while I go absolutely crazy about this latest kale recipe.
Right now, the stalwart in the Fleur-de-Lys Farm garden is kale. I have three varieties growing – Red Russian, Black Tuscan Kale, and the frilly Winterbor. They’ve been going strong all summer long and really came into their own with the cooler weather.
So what do you do with kale? That’s probably the most-asked question I get from customers.
This isn’t a vegetable I grew up with either. But years ago, when the “Seeds from Italy” catalog arrived, I ordered seeds of Black Tuscan Kale. Then I tried the recipe for Priest Stranglers (Strozzapreti) with Black Kale, Sage, and Potatoes in Deborah Madison’s “Local Flavors” cookbook. Potatoes with pasta? I thought to myself. Well, let me tell you, I fell in love with it, and the kids did too! You can’t go wrong with butter, sage, and garlic, and a generous amount of Fontina cheese. The name isn’t half-bad either — Strozzapreti refers to the pasta shape, twisted like Gemelli.Then I expanded my kale offerings to Red Russian and saw it over-winter last year. Amazing. This year, I included the curly-perm-leafed Winterbor.
Besides Strozzapreti, I tell people, kale is a good match with potatoes, can stand alone as a healthy side-dish braised with a little water, or it can dress up a soup. Young leaves can be tossed in a salad. Blah, blah, blah.
Kaboom! I was sitting at booth with a fellow volunteer and we started gabbing about food. One thing led to another, and she gave me her recipe for Kale Chips. When I got home, I grabbed a bunch of Winterbor kale, followed the easy recipe … Kaboom! A star was born.
Preheat oven to 400°. Strip leaves off stems of a bunch of kale. (Feed stems to the chickens, if you have them, or compost.) Place leaves in a bowl and toss with a splash or two of olive oil, coating well, and add a sprinkle of salt. Spread out leaves on cookie sheet with edges and bake for 15 minutes. Kale Chips turn dark green-brown and are crisp when done. Serve immediately.
My friend serves Kale Chips with a dip when neighbors drop in. I used them as a bed for chunks of roasted butternut squash – the crispy leaves melt in your mouth and contrast nicely with the smooth texture of squash. To me, Kale Chips are like savory cotton candy with a crunch! Eat well, Laurie Lynch
SOS: Calling all egg cartons! Drop off empties at the shop, please.
Early Thanksgiving: I can’t begin to list all of the people who have shared a smile, a meal, a prayer, a shopping trip … during these last several months. But this past week I injured my knee and superwoman Dina came to the rescue with a beautiful flowered cane for hiking up Hen Hill. She also shared words of wisdom that help me maneuver through this old house. “The good go up to heaven, the bad go down to hell.” She wasn’t giving a sermon on morality – she was telling me the safe way to navigate stairs. When you are climbing up the stairs, you lead with your strong leg and the weak leg joins it. Going down, it’s just the opposite, with the weak leg stepping down and the strong one catching up. And, I can’t forget a mega thank you to the guys who chased the lloose llamas back into the pasture.
Early Christmas: I’m looking for a home for a 4’x4’ dwarf banana tree. Go Bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s! Eat local and eat bananas too!
Small World: Meirinha, Richard’s Brasilian Mom, sent a youtube link:
to get me dancing … at least mentally (bum knee). She signs her emails “sdbs” which is Portuguese text talk for “surra de beijos” (“a spanking of affection”) and then added a “hee hee”, I’m guessing, in Portuguese: “ihihi.” Love these cultural exchanges. BTW, Andre Rieu, featured in the video with the Brasil Symphony, was born in the Netherlands and studied violin in Liege, Belgium, where Marina lived for a year working as an au pair.
Eggstreme Variety: You won’t get eggs that look like these in your local supermarket or factory farm. We love diversity, and so do our hens. Their bloodlines go back to Australia, Belgium, France, Chile, Japan and the good old USA.