• to grow •
• EVEN IF Cavolo Nero didn’t taste good – and it does when you do handle and cook it right – I would grow it for its ornamental value. I just love the prehistoric-looking leaves.
• ITS WINTER toughness! Our kale plants bounced back after a solid 20cm snowfall and brazened the worst our southerlies had to throw at us with no • Harvesting can start at any stage of development but for best flavour pick after the first frost. Harvest leaves from the bottom of the stem which will leave the remainder of the plant looking like a palm tree. • Choose firm, deeply coloured-leaves. Smaller leaves are more tender and milder in taste and more suitable for salads. • Kale is best eaten as soon as possible after picking – it becomes bitter and strongly flavoured with storage. • If storing, keep it in a plastic bag and remove as much air as possible – don’t wash the leaves as water encourages spoilage. • Any wilting will cause flavour deterioration. • The relatively low moisture content means kale does not shrink as much as other greens and needs a longer cooking time. It is not pleasant undercooked and is best served soft. • Most people cut out the centre stalk as it takes considerably longer to cook than the leaves. • Research has shown that boiling decreases the level of the beneficial compound sulforaphane. Steaming, microwaving or stir-frying on the other hand, results in no significant loss. It is delicious steamed and served with a drizzle of olive oil and salt.
stir-fry kale combo
You can use any kind of kale for this dish, preferably of different types and colours. I used Cavolo Nero and Squire, and as I had no red kale, I used the leaves and stalks of beetroot instead. Serves 4. METHOD Remove any woody stalks from the kale, cut into bite-sized leaves if large, and wash well. Slice and chop the onion, peel and finely slice the ginger and finely chop the garlic. Thinly slice and chop three half capsicums, one of each colour. Heat a wok or heavy frying pan, add the oil and when hot, toss in the onion, garlic and ginger and stir-fry quickly for 1-2 minutes. Add the capsicum and the still-wet kale and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, adding a generous grinding of pepper and about ½ tsp of salt to taste. Just before serving, add the avocado oil and the vinegar, stir once more, then serve.