Winter Warmer: Kale

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Kale is bang in season right now which means you can stock up at a reasonable cost and enjoy it while it’s at its best. The only problem is that some of us find cabbage rather boring. No-one wants the same old Sunday dinner complete with meat and two veg. Sadly kale is often treated in this way or is even ignored in favour of the vegetables which we are more familiar with, so I would like to give you some ideas as to how to make this tasty veg more interesting. 

Kale is packed with iron and can be super tasty when you cook it well; no more cabbage smells in the kitchen when it’s been boiling for hours! In order to get the best from any veg it is essential not to cook it for so long that it loses its nutrients. Here’s a lovely idea for transforming kale into something exciting and fresh!

Kale with Sesame and Garlic

If you don’t usually have sesame seeds in your stock cupboard then think of getting some now; they impart a delicious nutty flavour and can be used in many dishes, including home-made Chinese, (which is far cheaper than a take-away!) and talking of cheapness they’re not going to break the budget as they’ll last for a while.

Ingredients to serve 4:

Large handful of kale

2tbsp Sesame seeds

Olive oil

3 peeled and sliced garlic cloves

Sea salt and black pepper

Squeeze lemon juice

Wash kale well and cut into 1cm ribbons discarding any stringy bits. Toast sesame seeds in a frying pan until golden, taking care to stir them to prevent burning. (A word of caution; this happens very easily, so don’t turn away from the pan, even for a moment!) Turn the heat up to high and add 2 Tbsps. olive oil to the pan before throwing in the kale. The kale will spit, but don’t worry about it. Keep adding a few drops of water at a time to keep moisture in the pan and stir-fry the kale. It will wilt within around 2 minutes; this is the time to add the garlic. Keep stir-frying for around another 3 minutes, until garlic is starting to brown. Take care not to let it burn as it will become bitter. Transfer to a warmed plate and sprinkle with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Works really well with roast meat and is far more exciting than soggy ‘school’ cabbage.

Kale and Potato Croquettes

Have these on a Monday when you’ve got plenty of left-over kale and mashed potatoes.

Simply combine mash and kale, adding a little nutmeg if you like it. Make sure it’s seasoned and then add 2 egg yolks to bind. Dust work-top with flour and tip mixture out. Knead for a little while and then roll and form into a sausage shape. Cut the mixture into discs and form into croquette shapes. Gently fry in olive oil, with a knob of butter for flavour, until golden on both sides. They’re delicious with fried bacon and egg, and a great way of getting children to eat their greens.