All Hail the Kale!
Here at Lobbs Farm Shop we grow three types of Kale, each with a slightly different character. Often promoted by the media as a ‘superfood’ because it’s so nutrient-rich, Kale is certainly high in the B vitamins, as well as vitamins C, E & K and many of the minerals needed by the body, including potassium, magnesium and selenium. To add to its credentials, it’s also very tasty and available fresh every day in the farm shop.
Black Kale (Cavolo Nero), has stippled, plume-shaped leaves with thick stalks. The stalks can be a bit fibrous, so strip the leaf from the stalk by holding the stem firmly with one hand, circle the base of the leaf with the forefinger and thumb of your other hand and pull the two apart with one quick movement, then chop the leaves for cooking. Its flavor is deep and earthy with an almost-nutty sweetness.
Green Curly Kale has much larger, feathery leaves and a strong central stalk. The leaves can be curled so tightly that it can be hard to chop them, but it’s best to strip out the tough stem first, then chop the greenery for cooking. This variety of kale has a bright, peppery flavour. Over-cooking can make it bitter, so no more than about 4 minutes is best.
Red Curly Kale is similar to the green variety but has distinct reddish stalks and fringes. It’s sweet and mild but with an edge of pepperiness.
You can bake, stir-fry or steam all the varieties, but to make the most of the vitamins, steam for about 4 minutes.
The internet is awash with recipes for kale, but for a general guide to kale’s health benefits and recipes, try https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-kale.