Packed full of vitamins, tasty and plentiful, kale is a favourite of mine at the moment. Whether whizzed up in kale pesto, shredded and stirred into Ribollita or added raw to Trine Hahnemann Scandinavian winter salads, there’s something about this hardy no-nonsense brassica that suits January.
Knowing that it’s rich in antioxidants and Vitamins A, C and K helps too. My current passion for cabbage is also partly due to the fact that kale seaweed is proving a great way of getting my daughter to eat a heaped bowl full of greens.
Although she has spurts of being an adventurous eater, particularly when it comes to vegetables she’s grown herself, I have to admit that Ruby is a bit of a reluctant vegetable eater at the moment. She’s gone off old favourites such as Bolognese and pesto, which were great meals for sneaking extra veggies into. And although I’m very partial to a pile of simply steamed cabbage or kale with nothing other than a few twists of pepper and a little butter or olive oil (delicious with the pheasant that’s plentiful around here at the moment and mashed potato), Ruby doesn’t share my enthusiasm. In fact, I may as well lead a herd of goats onto the kitchen table for the look of shock that a plate of steamed greens would draw.
Actually, she’d probably be delighted with the herd of goats….
When it comes to ‘seaweed’ though, now you’re talking. It may be the novelty factor – I’m finding that food from around the world goes down very well at the moment. My daughter loves her Usborne Children’s World Cookbook and is very interested in African food (due to a school project) and Chinese food (just tasty) in particular. Very different to when she was a toddler and was happy to eat veggies in food that was comfortingly familiar, at 6 she’s more likely to be scoffed in something new.
Very easy to make for a quick snack or as a side dish with oriental noodles, kale seaweed is hardly a recipe. You just sprinkle a pinch of sugar, a pinch of sea salt and a drizzle of oil over a few large handfuls of kale 9spread in a single layer in a baking sheet) and pop in a hot oven for 5 minutes until crispy.
I’ve tried this with cavolo nero as well as curly kale and both work well. You really only need a scant amount of sugar and salt so this definitely counts as a healthy snack or side dish to me. Apparently frosts increase the sweetness of kale leaves, so if temperatures dip as forecast, the seaweed may get naturally tastier.
Still keen to find other ways of sneaking in kale, I’m going to give it a go in a version of my Wild Greens Pie and Well Worn Whisk reminded me of this lovely Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Mushroom & Kale Lasagne which we enjoyed last night. I agreed with Rachel on the benefit of extra cheese to the lasagne, adding cheddar and the last of the glittery cheese (obviously minus the glitter) to the béchamel sauce. If anybody has other kale/brassica ideas would love to hear of them – tasty and healthy as it is, very keen to make sure the seaweed doesn’t go the way of the Bolognese and pesto!
As this is a good way in my view of sneaking extra greens into children (and adults) would love to join in the fab Four Seasons Food challenge run by Louisa at Eat Your Veg and Anneli at Delicieux with the January theme of Virtuous Food. Kale is very definitely in season and this is a very simple dish, so would be great to be included in Ren Behan’s lovely Simple and in Season too.
I like the idea of kale pesto 😉
I’m still a fan – even if my daughter’s gone off it. In fact just wondered if I could stir some kale pesto into the ribollita for double kale helpings!
That looks delicious, we’ve tried a chunkier version, kale ‘chips’ which went down very well. I really like the idea of the Chinese ‘seaweed’ style, I’m off down to Kale patch right now!
Right , I need to try kale chips next, fab. Thanks Alex. x
Your timing is perfect – I’ve just harvested the last of my kale so I’ve a huge batch to use up. I shall begin with kale seaweed then try kale pesto. Thanks for the ideas!
Great, hope you like them. Would love to hear some of your ideas for a kale glut too.
Hmmmm.. that might even work for me! I’m a fan of Chinese seaweed too, but up to now couldn’t stand kale..
Kale crisps are next on my kale to do list, but I’m loving the idea of calling them kale seaweed, genius. Might even work on my two! Also going to be trying Crispy Kale Cakes – fried potato & kale patties. Thanks so much for linking up Four Seasons Food, an incredibly ‘Virtuous’ entry!
Crispy kale cakes sound wonderful, glad I still have some of the wonder brassica left! Thanks lots for including me in Four Seasons Food Louisa.
Hope you give it a go – and like it!
A lovely recipe idea… do you know I still haven’t tasted kale!?
It’s so easy to grow and tasty – you should definitely give kale a go.
I got to try the kale seaweed earlier this week. Yep, it’s true… very yummy Both my boys and I had second helpings and I’ll definitely make this at home. Great tip, Andrea
Thanks Chava, your boys are such great, adventurous eaters though – next time will try them with something more exotic!
The seaweed idea sounds good – although possibly not quite good enough to get my daughter to eat kale, but worth a try! Have you tried Sarah Raven’s recipe for kale bruschetta?
I haven’t tried kale bruschetta – is it in her Garden cookbook? Going to have a look now. Thanks Sarah.
Kale must definitely be the hardiest of veg – in season in Britain at the same time as it is happily surviving 40 plus temperatures in OZ. I’m growing Russian Red Kale at the moment and really enjoying eating it with feta in omelettes as well as a substitute for the Tronchuda cabbage in Caldo Verde.
It truly is hardy isn’t it – very grateful for it too. Great culinary ideas, definitely fancy trying it with feta in an omelette.
Yum! We roast whole leaves (middle vein cut out) in a little oil and salt to make kale chips – that’s always popular too. We particularly love it made with cavolo nero which we manage to grow occasionally – unfortunately the white fly seems to love it too!
Must make kale chips too – thanks Celia.
love kale here, usually raw in a salad. My eldest two won’t even look at it but the not yet two year old gobbles it up…now how does that work?
I like it raw in salads too. It’s funny how that works with kids isn’t it – definitely nature overrides the nurture on the tastebud front sometimes.
And a lovely treat for Chinese New Year, too! Thanks for entering Simple and in Season, Andrea x
Good point Ren, I should’ve mentioned that.Happy Chinese New Year!
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I have made kale chips before for the kids and they aren’t too keen. I like them but I think they found it a bit chewy and quite irony in taste. I will persist as the first time is always the hardest!
I love eating it raw with oil, lemon & avocado after it has been macerated in some sea slat for a while to break down that tough old cell wall. Such a great ingredient :0