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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Seth's Kitchen: Kale, other raw Brassicas

Kale, could I be any more stereotypical? Though I hear kale is "over", so perhaps now it's for the normal people again! I grow a couple of kinds of kale at the garden, and also have a few broccoli plants. Broccoli is great, you get that one central head like in the stores, but then if you leave it in the ground it produces side shoots all over the place that look like mini-broccoli heads. I've had plants live 2-3 years in my shady plot! You can harvest a pretty decent amount of food every week. Kale-wise I got seeds from Wild Garden Seed which is in my hometown, Philomath, OR. I grow their Red Ursa, White Russian, Lacinato (Dino) rainbow. The genes in their plants are great, I have ~4 year old plants that still produce tasty kale. Also grow a plain dino from Rene's seeds. Kale and broc are super nutritious but require super soil nutrition. Use lots of finished compost, lots of vermi tea (worm poop soaked in water for a day). {A worm bin is the best way to recycle kitchen scraps; worm poop is an excellent plant food, and it doesn't cost much of anything to do}. I've tried growing kale in a container and haven't been happy with production, it does much better in the ground.

Massaged kale salad is a prototypical hippie dish, but it makes alot of sense. Alot of the nutrients in kale are fat soluble, so eating kale with oil means you get all the good stuff. Basically you chop up kale and broccoli (say 2lbs worth), add olive oil (~3-4 T) and salt (~1t) and stir it till all of the leaves are shiny. I make it in a 6Q stainless pot. Lately I've been using preserved lemon instead of salt. {Preserved lemon is a homemade concoction of lemons, salt, lemon juice that you age for about 3 months before use} When I serve it I usually add an avocado, sometimes some canned tuna, and splash over some vinegar, balsamic seems to be best. Keeps fine in the fridge for a week.

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