The first time I tried kale was a few years ago when I was trying to duplicate a restaurant soup that my husband loved. There was something special about the thicker leaves, something stubborn. I quickly fell in love with Red Russian Kale, a flat-leaf kale that has green leaves with a purplish hue. (And by the way, the soup was a big success.)
When people talk about eating your leafy greens for health, this is the type of green they are talking about. According to World's Healthiest Foods, kale is high in vitamins K, A and C. See? Definitely good!
I've been cooking with it ever since. Kale is typically eaten cooked -- sautéed in dishes like Cucumber and Kale Saute -- or used in soups like Healthified Lentil and Chicken Tomato Soup.
But my current favorite way to have kale? Raw in salads. The trick is to rub a little salt into the kale and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then you rinse and you're good to go. That process, which is super simple, softens up the leaves making them easier to eat raw.
Kale leaves pair well with strong flavors like lemon and red onions. It's also fabulous in Caramelized Onion and Kale Salad, a fabulous salad built on Kale leaves. The sweet caramelized onions are fabulous with the kale leaves and light balsamic dressing.
You've got to try it.
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah's Cucina Bella.