Sunday, November 14, 2010
Kale is an extremely nutritious vegetable. It has powerful antioxidants, and is an excellent source of beta carotene, vitamins K & C, and calcium. It is also believed to have anti-cancer properties. But Kale scares a lot of people. If it is not cooked properly, it can taste very bitter and unpleasant. For this reason, I NEVER tried to cook kale. I just kept hearing too many negative comments about this misunderstood vegetable.
But then....I learned the secret to kale. Really, this is the secret to many green vegetables. For a while, I prided myself on being one of the few people who can make a "mean kale dish"! People would say "Oh my goodness, this actually tastes good. I've never had kale that tasted good! What's you secret?" Well, now I'm going to stop being so stingy and share my secret with you all.
ACID....specifically for this ingredient, fresh lemon juice. I do not know the "scientifical" reason as to why lemon can take a bitter green vegetable and turn it into something beautiful. But it works, so I'm rolling with it.
Actually when you think about it, we use acid in a lot of our green vegetables. When you cook collard greens, turnips, or mustard greens....don't you add a little vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar) to the cooking liquid?? Most people I know do. But we probably never knew why we added it. My mom put vinegar in her collards because her mom did, so now I put vinegar in my greens.
Well, now I know it's not just because of the nice "apple cidery" flavor it adds to the greens. It's also because it takes the bitterness out of dark leafy green vegetables and turns it into a healthy side dish that you actually want to eat. I also squeeze fresh lemon juice in my sauteed broccoli, and sometimes when I'm cooking fresh green beans.
I'm going to share a kale recipe I made the other day. You can make it in about 10 minutes.