Why Kale Doesn’t have to be a Dirty Word

Published / Written by Anna Scott / No Comments Yet

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, I should imagine you quite like your grub, perhaps more than the average person. And when I say grub, I mean proper food, things that don’t have a film lid which requires piercing before you put it in the microwave, or things that have flavour, seasoning and no clue exactly how many calories are in them.

Just normal, proper food. And being appreciative of such things, you might scoff when I mention the word kale. Kale. It’s taken on an almost comedic meaning in recent months, the sort of food associated with people who think you should be drinking your vegetables. An anti-food. Yes, it may be considered ‘super’ in some circles but with sensible, normal folk like ourselves we’d rather not have it anywhere near our plate thank you very much.

But are we being too Hasty in our Ridicule?

Yes, it’s very tempting to be dismissive of such fads but maybe we’re taking against it for all the wrong reasons, cutting off our noses to spite our taste buds. Just because it’s been adopted by the health food brigade doesn’t mean we should be shunning. After all, us lovers of grub appreciate our vegetables too – vegetables that have been cooked properly and taste of something, vegetables that add their own element to a dish rather than being the bit you suffer under duress, and there’s no reason whatsoever why kale shouldn’t be included in this veggie celebration. In fact, it’s not as if we even have to try hard to make it taste good – it does that all by itself (well, with a few additions)…

Today we decided to have pie, chips and peas for our Sunday lunch because sometimes you can have too many roast dinners, especially in January. My husband suggested we have some kale too and I went along with this suggestion because if someone who cooks for a living makes a recommendation, well, you listen and nod in agreement.

A short time later, Sunday lunch was served, and do you know what the first thing to disappear off my children’s plates was? Not the chips, not the pie but the kale. This is because the kale was delicious. It was not in smoothie form, it was not part of any detox plan, and it was polished down with a less than healthy combination of meat, pastry and potatoes.

So why was it so good? Well, for starters, it was cooked properly like all good vegetables should be. According to my husband, he melted about 50g of butter with about 100ml of water in the bottom of a pan and cooked the kale in it with some salt and pepper for a few minutes. And that was it. It still retained some of its bite and tasted buttery (obviously) and sweet – the perfect winter vegetable side. 

I have no idea what kale tastes like in drink form, or steamed to within an inch of its life, and I have no intention of finding out. I’m not really up on the supposed merits of so-called superfoods and I will continue to remain sceptical about such things, but what I do know is kale is a tasty vegetable and that’s more than enough for me to give it pride of place on my plate while it’s still in season. Take note fellow grub-lovers – kale doesn’t have to be a dirty word.