Kale is one of those vegetables that I was sort of unsure about as a kid. We grew a few different varieties in our garden and being very hardy, kale was always amongst the last of the vegetables standing as the frost spread it's beautiful patterns across the ground. Which meant kale had quite a long run at the dinner table at our house. I was lover of spinach and broccoli rabe and couldn't really get enough of them, but kale was another matter altogether. Perhaps it was the way that it was cooked that turned me off. To me, It was simply in the same category as collards and turnip greens, they all seemed bitter and tough to my childish palette. In my adult life I have had a change of heart towards this miracle Brassica. I simply cannot eat enough of it! I think the trick comes down to how it is cooked and what it is paired with. I can't imagine making a tuscan white bean soup without it or any winter vegetable soup for that matter. My favorite way by far to make it is inspired by a recipie from the Lucky Dog Farm Store in Hamden New York. They make a very simple but addictive raw kale salad.
Below is my interpretation.
Lucky Dog Raw Kale Salad
Take a good sized bunch of organic kale of any variety. I like Cavolo Nero (also known as Tuscan or Dinosaur) or Russin kale
With a large knife, Chop the entire bunch into medium size pieces
Mince and chop 3 cloves of garlic
Add the garlic to the kale and a healthy healthy dose of olive oil and pinch of celtic grey sea salt.
Massage the garlic, olive oil and sea salt into the kale with your hands until the kale starts to soften.
Set aside for a half hour or so before serving as it will continue to soften and breakdown.
This salad stores well and is great the next day.