Chosen Bites: Kale 101

Executive Chef Laura Frankel explores new recipes encompassing this tasty, vitamin and fiber loaded vegetable.

Kale 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Kale 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Kale is the new darling of the vegetable world. While kale is not a recently discovered leafy green, it is getting a lot of attention that is partly due to its nutrient density and to the fact that it is versatile and tasty.
My favorite varietal is Dinosaur Kale or Laciniato which looks rich and heavy, and is dark green or black. The leaves have huge scale like indentations (thus the nickname Dinosaur Kale) that contains enormous amounts of fiber and vitamins. It’s just got to be good for you!
I love the stuff! It is the kale for kale and non-kale lovers alike. It is mild tasting without the bitterness of some of its other cabbage cousins. It also, despite its scaly appearance, has a soft pleasant texture that cooks up quickly. Kale pairs well with other vegetables and is delicious tossed with pasta, added to soups or paired with chicken, beef or fish.
KALE CHIPS A good for you chip!
Kale can also be an amazing snack that has to be tried to be believed. The kale becomes crispy in the oven and takes on the flavor of the olive oil. The crunch chips are addicting and really good for you.
Ingredients-Kale-Olive oil-Sea salt
Directions1.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.2.  Make sure the kale is dry or it will not become crispy. Place the pieces on the parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the kale lightly with olive oil and sea salt. Bake to about 15 minutes. Every oven is a bit different.3.  The kale should be slightly dark in color and beginning to crispy up. Remove from the oven-the kale will continue to crispy up once it cools off.
-Olive oil
-3 shallots, sliced thinly
-3 cloves garlic, sliced very thinly
-pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
-6 tightly packed cups of Kale, cut into ½ inch wide strips
-1/4 cup white wine
-¼ water
-½ cup golden raisins
-salt and pepper
-Extra virgin olive oil for garnish
1.  Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Add the shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes and continue to cook until they are very soft and fragrant but not browned (about 10 minutes).
2.  Add the Kale. Increase the heat to medium high. Add the white wine, water and raisins. Place a lid on the pan and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is very soft and limp about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated.
3.  Place the kale on a serving platter or bowl and lightly drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Serve the kale with fish, chicken, veal or toss with pasta.
Chef Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering and author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.