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flyfish

Kale, Chard, Collard Greens, etc.

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Hi gang at Cheers,

 

Our garden is issuing forth great swathes of kale and swiss chard just now. This is our third year for chard, which we have successfully frozen and substituted for spinach in a number of recipes during the winter, but I am on the lookout for other things to do with it. It's our first year for kale. Besides mashing it with potatoes, what can we do with it? I'd appreciate hearing about your favourite ways with these greens.

 

Fly

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I've never grown them, but I tend to buy it at least once a year to make this recipe from Saveur. The only thing I do to the recipe is add a bit of sauteed mushrooms. It is great strait from the oven as the dough is fresh, but it heats up well as a left-over.

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I tend to buy it at least once a year to make this recipe from Saveur.
Oh, this sounds good. And I have LOADS of chard.

 

Blondie, that sounds yummy as well. Would that be okay to do with older kale, or should I go with the more tender bits?

 

Fly

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Because we both love it so much simply done, I rarely go beyond chiffonading the chard leaves (1/2 to 1-inch wide) and sauteeing them in olive oil with garlic and nutmeg, or in duck fat. Same sort of treatment for the stems, although I plan on using them to fill enchiladas suizas, maybe tomorrow.

 

However, anything you do with spinach (cooked) you can do with chard leaves. Our favorite Lebanese place uses a mix of spinach and chard in the spinach pies, to great effect. The leaves are also big enough that you can stuff them the way you would cabbabe leaves, for a much milder dish.

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if they are garden fresh, i'd go with the wash-steam lightly-oil, vinegar, black pepper preparation.

 

however with kale and collard greens i have a favorite preparation. i ate it almost every day when i lived in kenya for a year; it's a staple in much of east africa. i'll try writing it down.

 

sukumu wiki (literally: pushing the week)

 

ingredients: one bunch or so collard greens or kale, medium tomato, medium onion, oil, salt, water

prep:

-- chop onion for sauteeing.

-- chop tomato into cubes a little less than 1 cm. if very wet let some water go.

-- destem and slice collard kale leaves: remove stems (easier to do by hand), wash and shake dry, and stack up; roll up the stack tightly and then slice. you can slice thin (1 mm slices) if you like or thick (1 cm).

 

chop onion and sautee in oil in saucepan. when soft add tomato and sautee two minutes or so (tomato should soften but oil should not separate). add sliced collard/kale and some salt; stir and cover. the leaves will boil down. the leaves should cook sort of half by stewing and half by steaming, so stir and recover every minute or so until they are as done as you want them to be. do not overcook.

 

one good thing about the recipe is that the tomato acid neutralizes any bitterness in the collard/kale leaves, so it's good with less than stellar collard/kale.

 

if you want to make it more authentically, add some meat flavoring with the salt (knorr's is probably good -- the "house brand" in kenya is called "roiko" and is not available in the US) and/or add intolerable amounts of salt.

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Because we both love it so much simply done, I rarely go beyond chiffonading the chard leaves (1/2 to 1-inch wide) and sauteeing them in olive oil with garlic and nutmeg, or in duck fat. Same sort of treatment for the stems, although I plan on using them to fill enchiladas suizas, maybe tomorrow.

 

I dig chard. Kale I pretend to like but it requires so much fat to make it tolerable, I doubt I'm eating well at the point.

 

With chard I do the sauté thing, only adding onion, garlic and minced serrano chile.

It's a great quick taco filling as well.

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Blondie, that sounds yummy as well. Would that be okay to do with older kale, or should I go with the more tender bits?

 

Fly

I actually think it's a great way to use almost-past-its-prime kale. If the ribs are very thick they may not crisp up, so you can remove them if you want.

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I just remembered - the other thing I do is pan-saute it with a dash of honey, apple-cider vinegar, and pine nuts. Sort of sweet-and-sour thing that seems to work.

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I just remembered - the other thing I do is pan-saute it with a dash of honey, apple-cider vinegar, and pine nuts. Sort of sweet-and-sour thing that seems to work.
"It" being kale or chard? (Both would probably work, I expect!)

 

There was a recipe for winter greens I tried from Fine Cooking magazine last season, I think it was like a swiss chard gratin, very rich and a bit too heavy for my taste.

 

A quick look at their web site brought these:

 

Braised Kale with Pancetta

 

Creamy Parmesan Swiss Chard Gratin (I'm pretty sure this was the one I tired)

 

Garlicky Braised Kale with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

 

I notice the pairing of kale with bacon is a recurring theme... mmmmm

 

Rancho, I never would have thought of using chard as a taco filling - very innovative!

 

Fly

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Chard stems can be stuffed. Clean them as you would celery, and blanch them for five minutes. Cut them down the middle lengthwise and fill them as you would a sandwich. You can then either wrap them in their leaves and steam or bread-crumb them and deep fry.

 

Mousseline of Prawn, Crab and the like make a good filling for a stand alone steamed dish. Mushrooms; e.g. duxelles, or St. George's mushrooms make an excellent garnish for red meat.

 

If absolutely necessary, you can also be cute and stuff them with some snail preparation and serve the leaf rolled up on the stem to resemble the shell of a snail rampant.

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I grew up eating a lot of kale greens. They were cooked long and slow (braised) with water, some onion and a smoked pork hock or piece of jowl.

 

Serve dressed with a little cider vinegar.

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i remember a recipe for a pasta sauce with chopped chard, pancetta, garlic etc.. and i remember tossing it with orecchiette.

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