Sunday, February 22, 2009

CSA week 12 - Brazilian shredded kale two ways

Turns out there is more you can do with kale than just chips and braises. The key, it seems, is to finely shred it. It seems like that ought to be obvious, but I've been looking around and I've only seen it in Brazilian recipes. Odd. Those few recipes that specified how to go about the shredding recommended doing a chiffinade: cut the stems out of the leaves, tightly roll up five or so and slice into 1/4 inch shreds.

At this point you've got two choices. You can make a salad by adding salt, lemon juice and olive oil and letting it rest until it wilts to tenderness (overnight is best I read. I have some resting now and I'll report back later.) before adding tomatoes, pine nuts and maybe shredded carrots, beets, etc. Or you can blanch the kale for a couple minutes and then stir fry until tender and slightly browned around the edges, toss with a little salt and serve.

That second step shrinks the kale down to under half its original volume so you'll want to use more than I did for a serving. (Pork chop is pictured for scale.) The result tastes like kale but for not as long since you don't have to chew it all day. It's not exactly melting away but it's certainly tender enough. It does need a little acid to finish it off. A spritz of citrus would be fine, but I used a few drops of balsamic and find the sweetness is a nice addition too. Maybe adding a little sugar earlier like I did with the Irish cabbage recipe would be a good idea?

OK, it's tomorrow now and time for the salad. I added a little sliced red onion and tomato as you can see. The kale's wilted down to half its volume and added its moisture to the dressing so it nicely coats the extra vegetables I added. The texture is not far from the stir fried kale, maybe a little more tender. It's got the slight crunch you get in seaweed salads. The flavor has lost most of its distinctive kaleness. It's still clearly a hearty green under the dressing, but there's very little bitterness. As someone not overly fond of lettuce salads, I've got to say that I'm liking this a lot. I wish I had made more.


Karen said...

Good looking salad! Will try that; maybe marinate it tonight and lighten it tomorrow when it's put together by adding some of this week's lettuce, since I do like lettuce. Also use some of the carrots from last week. And I think I'd like roasted pumpkin seeds rather than pine nuts.

kat said...

We had some done the second way sprinkled into soup the other day & it was really good.