Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Crazy for Kale

It would be so great to always be ready for pictures, to always have my hair just so and maybe the dark circles that lurk under my eyes softened a bit. . . but then I couldn't complain that there were no pictures of me, and anyhow, when your most avid photographer is six, you get what you get.

Kale makes me pretty happy.

I pulled about a pound of Lacinato kale out of the garden today -- it's all threatening to bolt, and I'm trying to gobble it up before that happens. So I'm going to share a "recipe" with you. It's more of a suggested approach, because I'm not actually measuring things. When out at a local restaurant, I had their Kale-Seaweed Salad, and it was so tasty I've been trying to match it ever since. There's still something off about my dressing, but I'm close.

If you want to try it, and you have access to kale and either Arame or Hijiki (Arame is less expensive here, and Hijiki tastes better, in my opinion), you can make it right up.

I lightly steamed about 1/2 pound of stemmed kale leaves, then chiffonaded them. Meanwhile, the seaweed was soaking in some hot water. I drained the seaweed and mixed it with the kale. Into that went some finely minced fresh peeled ginger (you might want to try some ginger preserved in sherry, or some shaved fresh ginger instead). The dressing was rice vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Sesame seeds on top.

And that's it. I find it really yummy and am always amazed at how much kale cooks down to how little. It tastes best cold, but I have yet to make it far enough ahead to chill it. If anyone has suggestions about punching up the dressing, let me know.


Annie*s Granny said...

I think you look gorgeous, and I'm sure your six year old thinks you're about the most beautiful human on earth.

I don't like kale. I tried, really I did.

Stefaneener said...

I just don't get it. How can you not like kale?

Don't make me drive up there and saute some garlic, now. . .

And thank you. She seems quite fond of me.

Ribbit said...

Stunning as always, my friend. I was caught in the store by an old student the other day I was virtually in my pajamas with no make-up. When he said, "I can't wait to tell my wife I saw you," my response was to make sure she understood I was stunning in my ball gown. Graciously, he said, "Well, of course. Didn't you see the cameramen all around you?" Love that kid.

P.S.....I've never tried Kale. Scares me a bit.

michelle said...

We are our own toughest critics, you look fab!

I am going to give your kale salad recipe a try once I get a new crop going this fall. And I want to try to replicate the Kale Caesar that I had at Cafe Rouge a while back - it was a basic caesar salad but made with shredded raw kale (lacinato I think) instead of lettuce. It was fantastic, I never knew that raw kale could be so delicious. I wonder how a hit of fish sauce would be in your kale salad dressing? Or maybe some shaved bonito flakes? Or maybe some wasabi... and some chile pepper flakes couldn't hurt...

Daphne Gould said...

I'm always surprised by how much it doesn't boil down too. It holds its shape more than a leaf like spinach does. I expect to put in a pound and bring out a tiny little amount. I guess it is all in perception.

kitsapFG said...

You look Mahhvellous Dahling! :D

Actually you really do!

Your kale recipes are always quite inspirational to me. I snagged several from you ages ago and have them in a word file that I regularly reference... you are famous enough to be in my document file with your name on it ... "stefaneener's kale recipes"!

Not sure I am up for seaweed though but keep sharing your kale recipes so I can add them to that file. :D

Stefaneener said...

Ribbit, thanks. I really wasn't fishing for compliments. That expression just seemed so insane -- it's the kale, I swear it. I'd have loved to overhear your grocery store conversation. And again, with the kale. Look I used to think I hated it. I had eaten chard, and not liked it, therefore I wouldn't like kale. Kale, though. . . kale is different. Try it sauteed with a bunch of garlic and some raisins and pine nuts, really. Or that onion and goat cheese one. Yuuuum.

Just once, at least.

Michelle, the first time I made this one I made it with raw kale. I think it's good either way. Apparently a good chiffonade covers a multitude of sins. Or maybe I'm addicted to kale? Thanks also, you're right about our self-views.

Daphne, it's just more evidence of kale's superiority.

kitsapFG, but do you actually try them? I'm like a kale missionary. I really wish you were all local, because I'd make an all-kale menu, ending with smoothies - Oh I should post about that!

Heiko said...

I do love kale, including the varieties you gave me some seeds of, but for the life of me I can't grow it at this time of year. It just gets eaten by all manner of pests. I have managed growing some sowing back in October and eating them in spring, before the kale eating bugs arrive...

Stefaneener said...

Heiko, that's how spinach is for me. The leafminers aren't as bad in the fall, but spring? Forget it!!

I hope my kale grows well for you when it can. I did have some success in Arizona with bedsheets as row covers for some crops -- don't know if that would minimize the bugs or not. We're just now getting cabbage looper-type caterpillars, but it's almost bolting anyhow, so it's pretty much okay for both of us.