Fall is a perfect time to enjoy more kale – it gets sweeter after a frost. Try kale in combination with sautéed butternut squash or roasted with cauliflower, even a delicious fall salad with shredded Brussels sprouts, feta and orange. Any type will do – curly, Italian (dinosaur), or Red Russian. And for women, kale can’t be beat because of its high content of so many nutrients, especially calcium and iron. In fact, the Whole Foods rating system called ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index), which rates healthy foods on a scale of 1-1000, puts kale at 1000.
Newly published, Kale, Glorious Kale’s 90 recipes showcase all the best techniques – and there are a number- to make kale taste its best.
This series highlights a different technique and recipe each week, all geared for your fall table. All recipes are from Catherine Walther’s new cookbook, Kale, Glorious Kale
Butternut Squash, Kale and Corn
This is an attractive combo and side dish of 3 fall favorites, especially in that period when squash comes to markets, but fresh local corn is still available.
1/2 bunch kale, leaves stripped off stalks, chopped into bite-sized pieces ( 4 to 5 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 -3/4-inch dice (3 -4 cups)
2 ears corn, kernels removed from cob (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 lime, quartered
1. In a large skillet with a lid, bring 3 to 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the kale. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally until tender, 4 – 6 minutes, depending on the kale. Drain in a colander, shaking a few times, to release steam and stop the cooking.
2. Dry the skillet and add the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the butternut squash and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and cooked without falling apart, about 15 minutes. Add a few pinches of salt while cooking. (The pan should be large enough to fit squash in a single layer) Add the corn, cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper and cook 4 to 5 additional minutes, until corn is cooked. When ready to serve, add the kale back into the pan and stir gently to warm. Add another pinch of salt for the kale. Squeeze a little lime into the dish or pass lime wedges around for people to squeeze their own.
We’ve all tried and loved crispy kale. Now comes roasted kale. If you know how to make crispy kale, you can easily make roasted kale, with this recipe below from Kale, Glorious Kale, by Catherine Walthers. Here, it’s roasted with cauliflower; but kale can also be roasted on its own or in combination with vegetables that roast well in the oven, such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. The goal for roasting is not the crispy, brittle kale we are accustomed to, but an in between stage when kale softens and cooks. Some of the edges might get a little crispy. Roasted kale makes a perfect side dish for fall dishes such as roast chicken or a tasty meatloaf. If you like this recipe, check out this brand new cookbook helping us figure out the best techniques for cooking kale.
Roasted Cauliflower and Kale
After roasting together in the oven, the contrasting cauliflower and kale look nice together on a platter, garnished with a toasted pine nuts. The brown butter – which takes only a few minutes to make – gives the pair a nutty flavor, but if you can also substitute olive oil, if that’s easier. We’re not crisping kale here, but going for an intermediary stage of softened, cooked kale. For some added depth, top with some grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into tablespoons
1 medium head cauliflower, (about 5 to 6 cups) cut into uniform, bite-sized florets
4 cups curly kale, rinsed, stalks removed, chopped or torn into bite-sized pieces (1/2 bunch approximately)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the kale
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- Preheat the oven to 425° F. Heat the butter in a small, thick-bottomed stainless skillet over medium heat. Whisk the butter as it foams and continue as the foam begins to disappear and you begin to see brown bits, 3 – 4 minutes. It should smell nutty. Remove from heat to prevent burning and set aside.
- Place cauliflower on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of the butter. Mix well to coat. Season with salt and begin to roast in the oven, turning at least once during roasting to prevent any side from burning. Turn on the timer to 15 minutes.
- Place the kale in a bowl and rub the remaining tablespoon of butter and 2 pinches of salt into the kale. Try to get all parts of the kale pieces buttered.
- After the cauliflower has roasted for 15 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350° F. Push the cauliflower to one side of the baking sheet and add the kale. Continue roasting another 12 minutes or so, mixing at least once, for a total of about 27 minutes. The cauliflower should be easily pieced with a fork, and the kale softened, pleasantly edible with some pieces being slightly crispy. Times could vary depending on the size of the cut cauliflower.
- Turn the duo onto a platter, mix together, and top with pine nuts.
Add kale to your soups. It gives a nice green color, like parsley does, and adds tons of nutrition. It’s as easy as adding kale to your favorite homemade chicken soup. This week’s kale recipe is a vegan or vegetarian soup that everyone will love – including your family. In Kale, Glorious Kale the soup chapter includes new favorites such as Tortilla Soup with Shrimp and Kale, Cream of Kale (no cream) and even an Asian Kale Noodle Soup. Comfort food can be healthy!
Kale, Bean and Vegetable Soup
This is a quick-cooking soup ready in less than 45 minutes to make use of fall garden or farmer’s market vegetables, including your kale. I enjoy the bright green hue of kale cooked separately in this soup. To skip that extra step, add kale directly to soup after it’s simmered for 10 minutes.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 whole leek, cut in half lengthwise, rinsed, and sliced
2 cups butternut squash, cut into 3/4 inch dice
4 carrots, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 celery stalks, diced
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
6 cups water
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices, or 1 cup freshly roasted home tomatoes
5 cups kale, (about 1 small bunch), stalks removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed well with hot water
Salt and pepper
- In a soup pot, sauté the onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the leeks, butternut squash, carrots, celery and garlic and sauté until leeks are wilted, 8 – 10 minutes, stirring often. Add chili powder and oregano and stir 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the water, a few pinches of salt and diced tomato. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are cooked, but not falling apart.
- Meanwhile, bring 3 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan and cook the kale, covered, in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain, and add to soup, along with beans. Season with additional salt, until the flavors pop, and pepper.
Who would have thought that 2 powerhouse vegetables – kale and Brussels sprouts – would taste so good together, and in a salad. But it’s true. Shred the Brussels spouts and use either massaged kale or baby kale. Maybe it’s the addition of the orange slices, thin slices of date or the bits of feta cheese.
Tips on massaging kale: To massage kale, first remove the stalks and tear into pieces. Put the kale in a large bowl, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 2 pinches of salt. Kosher salt works nicely because of its size, but any salt will do. Massage kale by rubbing pieces between your fingers. Two to 3 minutes should do it to make sure all the leaves are coated and softened from repeated massaging. Some kales, depending on how they are grown, can take a few additional minutes to soften. In the end, try a piece of kale – it should taste good and not be too chewy. Enjoy this creation contributed by Connie Warden from Kale, Glorious Kale by Catherine Walthers.
Shredded Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad
Connie Warden, an artist and longtime chef /restaurant owner from St. Albans, Vermont, developed this cool salad combining kale with shredded Brussels sprouts, orange slices and dates and reports that it’s good with grilled salmon, chicken thighs or rotisserie grocery store chicken on top – even cooked beans. “Also, a good old hard boiled or a nice soft-poached egg is magic.” Connie was named Vermont Chef and Restaurateur of the Year in 2004.
4 cups torn kale greens, if tender, baby kale, or 6 cups chopped kale to massage (see note for massaging kale)
2 cups shredded raw Brussels sprouts (halved and thinly sliced)
Big handful of arugula (if available)
1 orange, slice off orange peel with a serrated knife, then thinly slice (make it 2)
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
Handful of toasted pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses*
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons water
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Toss together the kale, shredded Brussels sprouts, arugula, if using, orange slices and dates.
2. Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the pomegranate molasses, orange juice, water, paprika and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Toss the dressing with the salad. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and crumbled feta.
* Pomegranate Molasses, a syrup-like reduction of pomegranate juice and sugar, is sold in grocery stores such as Whole Foods Markets or specialty Middle Eastern stores. Otherwise, substitute 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar with 5 tablespoons olive oil (and skip the water) along with orange juice and smoked paprika.