Kale is one of the tastiest greens (or purples!) to arrive on British plates each autumn, and in the past few years it has become one of the most talked-about vegetables, often dividing opinion. It is extremely nutritious and full of health-boosting vitamins and minerals; it has a lovely sweet flavour; and it is very versatile in the kitchen, working wonderfully in a wide range of recipes, from smoothies to soups.
When and where
Our purple kale comes from two farms in Cornwall and Lancashire. Grown in the open air, slowly and without excessive watering, it develops tender leaves with no trace of sponginess, and a deep, complex flavour. In season from early autumn to mid-spring, kale grows better and more widely in cooler climates, as the cold temperature keeps its leaves more tender, and the stalks crunchier and sweeter.
Look and taste
The leaves of our purple kale are beautifully ruffled, medium-sized, with purple to dark green hues and a natural softness. This is the result of the ideal conditions in which it is grown. We always include the stalk as it holds most of the plant’s sweetness, nutritional value and fantastic crunch. It should never be discarded – it just needs to be cooked a little longer.
How to enjoy it
To make the most of their nutritional value, kale leaves are best steamed, whilst the stalk can be chopped finely and blanched until tender. Its nutty, deep notes go well with bold flavours likes spices, lemon, garlic and chilli. Like cabbage, kale makes a great addition to soups and stews (and bubble and squeak!), as well as being a perfect base to legume and grain salads.
You can also enjoy it raw – especially when as tender as ours – in green juices, smoothies or even salads. To make kale salad, just chop the leaves and give them a good massage in lemon juice and olive oil until tender, then add the rest of the ingredients. Avocado goes very well here, as well as nuts, pomegranate seeds and crumbled feta. Alternatively, try Sabina Ghayour’s Kale Bulgar Salad for a Middle Eastern take.
Last but not least, it is simply fantastic chopped and baked into more-ish, healthy crisps – a great alternative to potato crisps, more nourishing and just as good.
Experiment and enjoy! We’ve got a whole range of exciting and diverse produce in our Natoora Shop at Ocado.