The Mighty Kale

I started eating kale long before the hype began and for the past few years I’ve been growing it in my garden. When I read an article in the paper several days ago, I thought it may be time to blog about it.

Everyone is talking about kale and how wonderful it is. Well, almost everyone. When I first started growing it, my husband would firmly tell me I would be the only one eating it. A friend of mine said she wouldn’t eat it as she was forced to eat it in winter when she was a child. And this is where we have to start talking about this leafy green.

Last summer, I was browsing through newly published cookbooks at the English Bookshop when I overheard a saleslady talking to a customer about kale and how it wasn’t available in Switzerland. At some point in their conversation I decided to interrupt them. Kale is available here, but only in winter as it is a winter green. It tastes best after a good freeze. Then, about a month ago, I was grocery shopping and again I overheard someone asking about kale. The man was speaking English and the shop assistant didn’t know what kale was in German. I was going to mind my own business this time, but I felt I needed to help. I interrupted and told both the German word for kale. Both were relieved and the man was led to the greens. But, he wasn’t too happy with what he saw.

For my German-speaking readers, kale in German is labled as “Grünkohl” or “Federkohl” and it looks different than what is commonly pictured in blogs and cookbooks. The one most commonly shown (with flat leaves) is known as Tuscan kale or sold here as “cavolo nero” and not quite as easy to find here, but they can be used interchangeably. I grow the curly kind in my garden and it keeps well under a blanket of snow and can be picked through winter.

Kale is full of all sorts of vitamins and good things, but that’s not why I eat it. I eat it because I like it. Especially in winter when I crave something fresh, I like to eat a salad made with kale. This is a salad even my husband likes to eat!

Kale Apple Salad

Note: I used my homemade grainy mustard, which is on the spicy side. I like it because it complements the other flavors in the salad. But feel free to use any other mustard you like. The cheese in this is a local cheese. I’d suggest using a sharp cheddar, Gruyere or other stronger flavored cheese.

  • 4 kale leaves, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 100 g cheese, cubed
  • 40 g sunflower seeds

Dressing (from Aran Goyoaga’s cook book)

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp apple vinegar
  • 2 tsp pumpkin seed oil
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt

Whisk all ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.

Combine the kale, apple, cheese and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.

Serves 2

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