As I write this, I’m stuck on an Amtrak train that’s suffering from mechanical failure. While I truly believe I’ve entered the seventh rung of hell, I’m trying to be optimistic about the situation. Originally I had planned to write a long, leisurely post as I made my way to New Haven, but I’ll give it to you straight.
I LOVE KALE.
Let me back track for a moment. Growing up in Brooklyn, the closest I’d ever come to consuming a vegetable was iceberg lettuce smothered in ranch dressing. Green beans lived in some murky abyss that was a can, and the very sight of broccoli sent me screaming. It wasn’t until I went to college that I had my first real salad, and it took nearly a decade to fall in love with the BELOVED CARROT. So you can imagine one could hardly have predicted my love affair with kale. And trust me, kids, this river runs deep.
Although I loathe juice cleanses more than the WRETCHED MUSHROOM, I have to thank the folks at BluePrint Cleanse for introducing me to kale while on a 2009 retreat. Dressed in tahini sauce and tossed with sundried tomatoes and other delicious vegetables, I feverishly shoveled my salad and proceeded to go home and stock up on the cruciferous green as if I were hoarding for a bomb shelter. Since then, I’ve made kale every which way one could possibly make kale. I blitzed it with roasted garlic and pistachios to make a pesto, I tossed it with strawberries, blueberries and a honey vinaigrette, diced grilled peaches and toasted slivered almonds, and, most famously, made it the star of my tofu stirfry and drunken noodles. It’s made its way into smoothies, shakes and as a perfect accoutrement to fish.
But perhaps the most daunting aspect of kale is the fact that it’s fibrous. This is why you’re not eating it, right? TELL ME EVERYTHING. As my friend @glambr would say, START AT THE BEGINNING AND END AT THE END.
This problem, like most, can be resolved, with some massaging. Before I make kale I massage sea salt and 1 tbsp of olive oil in my hands and rub the kale leaves between my two palms. The salt will force the kale to sweat a little (wonder why onions don’t burn when you add salt? It’s because salt renders juice out of the veggie/fruit, etc, it touches), and it will become slightly tender. I did this for the first few months of eating kale before I dressed and served it, but now I actually love the fact that it’s a veggie that can stand up to almost any ingredient. It’s no wilting flower.
Do you have any amazing recipes you want to share? Let me know!
Check out some of my favorite kale recipes: