Comida Kraft
Recipe Box

Seasonal Produce: Kale


Quite possibly the vegetable of the century, kale appears to be everywhere. Kale is featured in recipes for kale soups, kale salads, pasta and even a lusciously creamy kale omelet. And don’t forget crunchy kale chips: They’re a great alternative to plain old potato chips!

Kale is a close cousin to several extremely popular veggies: cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Characterized by lush green leaves, Lacinato kale and curly kale are the most popular. Lacinato has a few aliases: You might see it labeled as Tuscan, dinosaur or black kale where you shop. It can be used interchangeably with curly kale, but most people agree that Lacinato makes the best kale chips: It’s easier to get the leaves evenly coated with all the ingredients, and it’s flatter, so it comes out a bit crispier.

Kale recipes make great side dishes, and a favorite that appears on menus around St. Patrick’s Day is Colcannon, made with mashed potatoes and cabbage, but kale is a great substitution. Ours features bacon, too. After trying our kale recipes, you can move on to other delicious hearty greens: Collard and chard are great ones to try.

Purchasing Kale

  • Look for the smaller tender leaves that are vibrantly green.
  • Avoid wilting leaves that are tinged with yellow.
  • Refrigerate kale unwashed or washed in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Unwashed kale will keep for 5 to 7 days and washed kale for 3 to 5 days.
  • Whether washed or unwashed, leaves should be dry before storing to prevent mold and rot. Dry the leaves before refrigerating or add paper towels to the bag to absorb excess moisture.

Preparing Kale

  • After kale has been washed, remove the tough stems. For a quick lesson on how to remove stems, watch our How to Remove the Rib from Kale video.
  • After removing ribs, remove and discard any bruised, wilted or discolored leaves. Wash thoroughly under cold running water, separating the leaves to expose any buried grit or dirt.
  • If you are using kale in a salad, dry leaves thoroughly by using a salad spinner or by patting them between layers of paper towels. Excess moisture prevents dressings from coating the leaves and may reduce storage time. If you are using the kale in a sauté, soup or stew, you don’t need to dry it.
  • Kale leaves are not delicate, and are easily cut with a knife.
  • To easily shred kale, stack several washed and dried leaves, roll up to form a cylinder and slice crosswise at 1/4- to 1/2-inch intervals.
  • For best results, and the most tender raw kale, gently massage dressing into the leaves with your hands: This will soften the fibers and has the added benefit of distributing the flavor of the dressing evenly.

Kale Nutrition

  • 85 grams of fresh kale is good source of potassium and fiber, and an excellent source of vitamin A and folate.

Serving Kale

Kale Recipes

Harvest Kale Salad

Kale "Cannelloni"

Kale-Berry Ranch Salad

Italian Sausage & Kale Stuffing

Creamy Kale Matzo Strata