Well obviously this is not ALL about Kale…but it is something delicious. If you are a gardener cook like me the pickings in the vegetable garden are a bit lean at this time of year but this morning I found a dark and handsome stranger standing nearly 1m high with a jaunty cap of snow. This is the lovely Italian kale ‘Cavalo Nero’. The beautiful crinkly leaves can be a tad on the tough side so try to pick only the younger leaves. If you need to use the older parts then then tear the leaf from the woody mid rib and banish it to the compost heap pronto. Once you have the leaves wash carefully and then shred them. It is easy to find bags of shredded green kale in any supermarket if you can’t get your hands on the real thing. If you are that way inclined have a go at growing your own-they are easy to get going but you will have to take precautions against pesky cabbage whites and pigeons. I am going to cook them with the spicy Spanish sausage Chorizo. This is strongly flavoured with garlic and paprika and a good match for the hearty kale. You can buy the sausage sliced but chunks of whole Chorizo are best for cooking.
Approx. 200g curly or black kale
Piece of Chorizo sausage (about 6cm)
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Finely shred the kale.. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and plunge the kale into it. Boil for about 4 minutes then quickly drain and give it a good shake until it is quite dry. If you want to eat later you can cook the kale, drain it and then plunge into running cold water. This stops the cooking process and it will keep the green colour until you are ready to complete the dish
- If necessary remove the outer skin from the Chorizo sausage and chop into small pieces. When you are ready to eat heat up a little oil in a wok. Add the Chorizo and cook for a few minutes until the paprika flavoured fat begins to run and then add the kale. Stir fry for about 5 minutes or until the kale is soft but still with some ‘bite’. Add the lemon juice and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
- Omit the chorizo and add toasted almonds or pine nuts
- Add a little fresh ginger and soy sauce for a different flavour. Add fresh chilli finely cut to makes things hot.
- Try using anchovies instead of the chorizo.