Monday, July 02, 2007

K is for Kale

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I don’t know if it is just another urban vegetable myth but the biggest consumer of kale in the United States is reportedly Pizza Hut, who uses it to decorate the salad bar. I mentioned this to a fellow-shopper who was buying kale in the supermarket and was unimpressed that it was only being used as a decoration. She came from Bremen in Germany and told me about the annual kale festival. Apparently the really keen ones compete to be crowned the King of Kale. My children love trivia and I like to welcome a new vegetable with a few impressive facts. I went home and told them about the “Kohl and Pinkel Fahrt”. This involves strolling around, decorated with sprigs of curly kale and stopping off at inns to enjoy kale with schnapps and a special sausage known as pinkel. Freddie giggled at the word ‘fahrt’ and Alexandra muttered “losers.” But at least it introduced them to the curly kale that was sitting looking pretty in the corner of the kitchen.
I decided to serve our first kale recipe as an accompaniment to sausages and mashed potato – sadly there was no pinkel to be found. Savoy Cabbage, with its dark green leaves had been a surprise hit with Freddie early on in the challenge. He gave curly kale eight out of ten, which surely made him a contender for King of Kale.
Serves 4
250g Curly Kale
2 tbsp olive oil
1 ripe avocado
1 clove of garlic
Half a lemon
Wash and roughly chop the curly kale leaves, getting rid of any really tough stalks.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat.
Add the finely chopped garlic and keep stirring. Add the curly kale to the pan and stir. The leaves should wilt in the heat. Sauté them for about 7-8 minutes, stirring continuously. The leaves will soften slightly. Take off the heat. Transfer to serving dish and add the chopped ripe avocado; squeeze the juice of half a lemon on top. Season with salt and pepper and stir round so that it is evenly coated. Serve warm


  1. Oh I love hearing about veg festivals! The “Kohl and Pinkel Fahrt” - I was curious to find out more and came across this an account of the 7th annual KPF in ... not Gemany ... Shanghai!

    Power to the unifying forces of veg!


  2. Fantastic - the power of vegetables to unite.

  3. Ursula L2:08 PM

    Kale festival? I suspect every fruit and vegetable has a festival somewhere, if you look hard enough!

  4. This recipe sounds fantastic.

  5. Billie7:43 AM

    Theres a really nice italian pasta recipe, with sautaed kale and spicy sausage. I played around with the following recipe:

    I added garlic, dried chilli flakes, finely sliced onion and capsicum and pine nuts. It was a big hit with my meat eating boyfriend. You can adjust the quantities of meat (which I did).

  6. i do love kale . . . i'll echo billie's comment about kale partnered with sausage . . . those two make beautiful music together.

  7. Ursula L12:50 AM

    Around here, Italian restaurants serve a dish called "Greens and Beans" (or "Beans and Greens") a soup of white beans, escarole or kale, and Italian sausage, cooked in chicken broth, and flavored with garlic. Sometimes some pasta is added, if it will be a one-dish meal rather than a starter or side. It's lovely stuff. With the sausage, I expect Freddie would like it, despite the fact that sausage definately is second fiddle to the vegetable part of the dish.

    These are pretty typical recipes: and

  8. I've just discovered your blog and am enjoying it quite a lot! As for kale, you might enjoy this brief video of the world record setting giant kale from Alaska:

  9. As you may guess, kale is just about my favorite thing on this planet! Besides being shockingly nutritious, you can squeeze it into so many recipes. We've had good kid-pleasing success with our kale smoothies and kale salad.


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