Curly kale, growing in the field. Photo by
Dark, leafy kale is one of the most highly nutritious vegetables, with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is part of the Brassicaceae botanical family, the group of cruciferous cancer-fighters that also includes bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, horseradish, kohlrabi, mustard greens and radishes.
Until the end of the Middle Ages, kale was one of the most common green vegetables in Europe. It was introduced to Canada by Russian traders, and then to the U.S., in the 19th century.*
Yet, though it’s flavorful and good for us, Americans don’t eat much kale. It’s available year-round, so try it. It just may become a family favorite.
How To Buy, Store & Use Kale
Look for kale with firm, deeply colored leaves and moist stems. To store, wrap the leaves in a damp paper towel (don’t wash before storing), tuck it into a plastic bag and place it in your refrigerator’s crisper.
GARLIC-BRAISED KALE & SUNDRIED TOMATOES
1. Place a small amount of oil, garlic and onion in a deep skillet or wok and turn heat to medium. When the onions begin to sizzle, add a generous pinch of salt and pico de gallo seasoning, and sauté for about 2 minutes.
2. Stir in sundried tomatoes. Stir diced kale into skillet with lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and sauté for 2 minutes.
3. Add water and rice wine vinegar, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until kale is quite wilted and a deep green, about 8 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with hazelnuts.
Find more of our favorite vegetable recipes.