From now until the end of summer we are going to be able to grab fresh local kale (or have it forced upon us in our CSA boxes) all of the time. I hope you didn’t overdo it with kale throughout the colder months because we are just getting going, baby.
Kale is great. It is full of good stuff. It is easy to grow, easy to harvest, and easy to prepare. If you are wondering what is up with all the kale on the shelves of the local supermarket maybe you need to jump on this kale train and here are a few reasons why: Kale is high in vitamin A, K, C, as well as calcium. It can help fight cancer, can help lower cholesterol and has properties which decrease the absorption of dietary fat. It is high in fiber. It can help stimulate the bowels and can contribute to a more regular you.
Apart from the obvious (which is that eating dark leafy greens will make you feel better, always) kale can also be truly delicious. Kale also freezes exceptionally well. Start stocking up!
To clean kale I hold the stem and pull the leaves away from the center stalk, soak my kale in clean cold water and then toss it around in a colander. I usually let most of my greens air dry on the counter. If you have a more than you can use feel free to throw some cleaned kale in a ziploc bag and into the freezer. Cleaning the whole bunch of kale can put you one step ahead when it comes to preparing quick weeknight meals. If you want to extend the shelf life of your kale leave it uncleaned, in a large ziploc bag in your crisper. If you notice the leaves are starting to yellow slightly then you had been get going and cook it up or freeze it.
I am hugely fond of black kale aka. cavolo nero aka. dinosaur kale. It seems to be the only variety in the entire kale family that my body is capable of digesting.
It is a little chilly out tonight and I am feeling extra lazy today. Supper is going to be simple and primarily oven roasted.
I happen to have a beauty of a pork roast in the fridge, some onions and apples, a few potatoes, black kale, soaked shiitakes, and a bunch of sprouted lentils. Dinner is in the oven in the time it takes to chop the vegetables up.
Recipes to follow. Go cook some kale.
maple dijon pork loin roast. apples. onions.
5lb bone in pork loin roast
1 onion, sliced
2 apples, diced
2 tbsp dijon
2 tbsp maple syrup
salt and pepper
1 cup chicken stock or water
Combine the dijon and maple syrup. Season all side of the pork with salt and pepper. Place the roast in a parchment lined pan and tuck the apples and onions all around it. Spoon the maple dijon mixture over the top of the roast. Pop it into a 350*F oven, uncovered. Meanwhile prepare the side dish.
After the pork has been in the oven for about half and hour pour the stock or water over it. This will help keep your roast moist while it cooks as well as provide some delicious pan drips.
potatoes, dino kale, shiitakes and sprouted lentils
3 russet potatoes, cut into cubes
2 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper
5 rehydrated or fresh shiitakes, sliced
2 cups of cleaned dinosaur kale, torn into large pieces
1 cup sprouted lentils (or other sprouted grain)
fresh lemon wedges
Toss the potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper, and place in ovenproof casserole dish. Add the thyme and pop the whole thing into the oven. Let roast for 35 minutes at 350*F. Once potatoes are cooked through and browned give them a stir and top with mushrooms, kale, and sprouts. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and season the top bit with a pinch of salt and pepper. Squeeze fresh lemon juice all over the veggies. Cover and return to the oven for another 15 minutes. The kale should be wilted and everything should be steamed through when you lift the lid off. Set aside until your pork roast is cooked.
When the pork reaches 145*F internal temperature let it rest for about 10 minutes. Pile each plate with veggies, slice up the pork and spoon some apples, onions, and pan juice on top of the whole business.