Being fifty-something, I’ve seen the rise and fall of many a fad “super food”. It seems that just as I’m ready to surrender to a culinary trend, a barrage of de-bunking articles hits the interwebs and I’m left with a not-so-super food to contemplate.
Not so with kale. It seems to be standing the test of time.
I’ve been hearing a lot about this leafy green vegetable. A lot. Everywhere. Kale chips. Kale-rich green smoothies. Kale salad. Kale curry. Kale pizza.
I saw bunches of kale piled high at the farmers market. I was intrigued as kale started appearing on the menus of my favourite eateries.
My kale curiosity was hitting a peak when serendipity stepped in. My clever sister K offered me a big bag of kale, freshly harvested from her own backyard veggie boxes.
K’s kale: an offer too good to refuse.
I turned to Chef Google (as you do) and found a plethora of kale recipes plus a bounty of kale fandom. Like this from webmd.com:
“Kale is a Nutritional Powerhouse. One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients. Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds. Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.”
Formidable stuff. I decided to honour this big bag of nutritional kale with an outing as a main dish meal for dinner: Kale Puttanesca.
I used this recipe I found over at allrecipes.com.
I omitted the anchovies because … well, seafood allergy.
I added in a sliced, sautéed chicken breast because … well, Mr P. Carnivore. Feed-the-man-meat.
The result? A big thumbs up from us. Very tasty, just the right amount of sauce, lots of textures and lots of flavours to savour thanks to the kale, the capers, the olives. And I love a recipe that reminds me that the Italian tradition is to add the pasta to the sauce (not the reverse).
Will definitely be making this one again … next time life hands me kale.