Welcome to the new world of kale. Once a forgotten green leaf, kale has reinvented itself into the culinary and health food worlds. Loaded with goodness ( vitamins A, C and K and fibre, calcium and iron) the young leaves are great in salads and mature leaves make for tasty steamed greens, not to mention it’s ornamental qualities.
Kale is very easy to start from seed directly into the garden or container plot in early spring. As the seedlings grow thin them out to about 18 inches apart to allow for full growth. Kale matures in about 2 months so you can grow a spring crop, then replant again anytime after June for a fall crop. The roots of Kale are quite shallow and can dry out easily, so be careful with your watering schedule. Kale is a cool crop and prefers light shade.
Pick the outside leaves while they are still tender and the plant will continue to grow from the inside out. You can continue to pick right up until frost as a light frost might even enhance the flavor. In warmer areas your Kale will overwinter if you mulch it sending up new fresh shoots in the spring. You can fertilize with an organic liquid fertilizer and should not be bothered by very many pests.
Varieties of Kale to Grow:
Siberian Kale – is very blue in color
Scotch Kale – is also called curly kale and is gray-green
Tuscan Kale – is a green-black color and called black kale or dinosaur kale (Italian Heirloom type)
Red Russian Kale – blue leaves veined in rose-red
Redbor Kale – deep maroon color
A very nutritious and delicious treat, so easy to make and so much cheaper to make than buying at the health food store.
TIP: for really crispy chips dry the kale leaves in a salad spinner. Also do not salt until after cooking. Yo want them to crisp not steam.
1 bunch of curly or dinosaur kale, washed and dried
2Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3Tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated ( use real parmesan cheese in a block that you grate) * I often add a little more cheese:)
Preheat oven to 350F. Remove stems from kale leaves and tear kale leaves into 2 in pieces. Spin leaves in a salad spinner until dry. In large bowl toss kale with olive oil. Arrange leaves in a single layer on 2 parchment lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until crisp and edges are starting to brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Do not let the leaved turn brown. Salt to taste. Enjoy!