October 7, 2016

Dishes That Make the Most of Kale

Kale can be the start of a great salad.

As late summer turns to fall, kale’s leafy greens are a common sight in produce aisles and at farmers’ markets. Chefs in culinary academy will find there are plenty of uses for this nutrient-packed vegetable. Beyond making a great basis for a salad, kale leaves can be tasty whether sauteed, grilled or steamed.

Bringing excitement to your leaves
With a little creativity, you can make kale salad tasty and exciting. Bon Appetit suggested a version that combines the leaves with lemon juice, Granny Smith apples, chopped almonds and cheddar cheese. With all those delicious items mixed in, the only dressing you need is some extra-virgin olive oil with salt and pepper.

For a hot, satisfying fall dish featuring the veggie, Serious Eats offered a recipe for vegan polenta and kale soup. Start by warming a chopped leek in extra-virgin olive oil and salt before adding minced garlic and red pepper flakes and pouring in vegetable stock. Slowly whisk a cup of polenta into the mixture and heat it to a boil.

Lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes, waiting for the soup to thicken and the polenta to grow tender. Mix in chopped kale and cook for another five minutes. Then, add soy sauce, miso paste and sliced scallions. Finish off the dish with salt and pepper and toasted sesame oil.

Nutrient-rich kale can be incorporated into a wide variety of dishes.Nutrient-rich kale can be incorporated into a wide variety of dishes.

Chefs putting creative spins on kale
Many restaurants have found success by incorporating kale into inventive meals. Craft in New York City serves a Tuscan kale braised for hours in sofrito. The greens absorb the flavors from this slow-cooked mixture of carrots, onions celery, tomatoes and rosemary, making for a savory side that perfectly complements the selection of roasted fish and poultry.

At The Amazing Kale Burger, a lunch counter in Evanston, Illinois, the menu centers around the namesake veggie burger, which is also available at several local restaurants. In addition to greens, the patty contains crimini mushrooms, potato, onion, zucchini, tomato, black beans, red pepper, jalapeno, salt, garlic, olive oil gluten-free oats and garbanzo bean flour. Among the side dishes is a kale kimchi with lime tahini sauce.

Kale is famous as a healthy green, but chefs can find plenty of ways to make it delicious as well. Students taking online culinary courses should try using the vegetable in a few different dishes this autumn.