Kale, the ubiquitous leafy green everyone talks about. Good in smoothies, dried as chips and of course sautéed. I almost never, boil it, unless it’s part of soup. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, and vitamin C, and is rich in calcium. Did you know that kale has varieties? Not only is there tight curly kale found at the supermarket, but at the farmers market you can find Tuscan, Red Russian and Siberian. Last week at the Chappaqua Farmers Market I picked up a bunch for my cooking demo and loved it. I don’t usually cook that variety so I was pleasantly surprised by the taste and texture.
Siberian kale has a softer feel to the leaves, versus its tight curly or Tuscan siblings. It’s actually a little closer in feel and taste to the Red Russian. You still need to strip the tough stems before preparing this tasty green. Look for bright smooth leaves, free from spots and blemishes. They might be a little limp with all the heat we’ve been getting, at the market. Don’t despair! Once home give them a rinse in cool water and cut off about an inch of the stem. Place them in a heavy jar filled with water and allow them to dry in the counter for about an hour. They should plump up nicely. If you are not using them right away cover with a thin produce bag and place in your fridge. They will keep for about a week.
This week I don’t really have a recipe, per se. I simply pulled a quick dish together using my Siberian bunch. Using this format you can put your own spin on this dish.
After a quick sauté using a small diced red onion, a couple of garlic cloves, olive oil, salt and pepper, I added in a little leftover quinoa. Any type of grain, rice or beans will work.
While I was sautéing the kale I roasted some very beautiful mushrooms I found at the farmers market that morning. I left them in slightly large pieces, so they would not get lost in the dish. They were just too pretty to chop up.
Season with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 450 degree oven for 5-10 minutes. Check on them after 5 minutes. No sense in roasting to oblivion!
Season your kale-quinoa with additional salt, pepper as needed, a nice drizzle of finishing oil and a squeeze of lemon. Then top with the beautiful mushrooms and a little freshly chopped parsley or basil. With prep and cook time this can all come together in under 30 minutes. If you are not crazy about mushrooms consider using squash or carrots. Adjust your roasting time accordingly.