Curly Girl

I  have a new love in my life which I just can’t get enough of these days…I have given my heart completely to curly kale!

Despite being a huge fan of dark leafy vegetables, I am a recent convert to the ways of curly kale. This is probably because despite being cheap, nutritious and usually British-grown, it is almost impossible to find in a major supermarket alongside more common brassicas such as broccoli or cabbage. I discovered it when the farmers’ market came to Brixton last year and I have been wondering how I did without it until now…

A large bag of curly kale costs me 90p from the market and lasts up to 3 weeks to the fridge so I am never without a green veg to add to any dish. Unlike spinach it doesn’t shrink to a fraction of the size when cooked thus making it damn good value. It is also more versatile in that it is happy to be cooked either quickly if needed or given the long languorous treatment without losing flavour or colour.

The iron-rich taste of curly kale goes especially well with many of my store cupboard staples such anchovies, chorizo and eggs. I also imagine it would take strong flavours such as chili or mustard well which will all help to steer me away from always seeming to add animal protein for an umami hit with meals.

If you haven’t welcome kale into your life yet, get yourself to the next farmers’ market or farm shop you can and treat yourself to a big health giving bagful as soon as possible while the season lasts. I’m happy to share the love, but you’ll have to get your own shopping bag!

6 replies
  1. Adriana
    Adriana says:

    I fail at kale. Every time I try to do something magical with the curly green loveliness (like stir-fry it with chilli and garlic) I manage to emphasize all of its bitterest, most unpleasant qualities. Yet whenever I eat it at restaurants (Ethiopians have a ridiculously delicious way with kale), I adore it. What am I doing wrong?

  2. Elly
    Elly says:

    I too love kale! It needs to be balanced with warm sweet flavours to please me. I really like it with bolognese sauce as a pasta substitute or mixed with bacon and caramelised onions and served on top of a pile of mash.

  3. Meghan
    Meghan says:

    I know this is so popular on food blogs it’s practically a meme (lolkale!!), but have you made kale chips yet? Tossed with olive oil and salt, roasted until crispy…amazing. I also like making a sort of bastard colcannon (can you use kale instead of cabbage and still have it qualify as the original?–I’ve heard differing opinions) with a little bit of mustard powder in there as well…Oh man.

  4. miss_south
    miss_south says:

    Meghan, kale chips are news to me. News of the very best kind and something I must acquaint myself with immediately. I’m also declaring colcannon can be kale friendly…I’m from the North and we embrace champ rather than colcannon so I can’t get precious about it.

    Elly, I know what I’m having for dinner tonight. Yum!

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