Conquering Kale

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

In which I demonstrate how the application of butter, cream and bacon makes even a pile of weeds taste nice.

Thank you for all the wonderful kale suggestions. 
In the end I decided that colcannon sounded the most appetising way of eating it especially on a cold January day.


I made some mashed potato to which I added a slug of cream, a lump of butter and some fried spring onions. I used five biggish unpeeled spuds.


My kale was a 200g bag of British kale which cost £1 from Waitrose (it's £1 from Tesco and Sainsbury's too proving once again that Waitrose isn't always more expensive). It comes ready chopped but there were quite a lot of thick stalks which I snipped off and put aside for Billy Guinea Pig who lives next door.
I snipped the leaves up a bit more and threw them into a pan of boiling water for 9 mins.
Then I stirred them into the mash and seasoned well with salt and pepper. It was looking and tasting very good indeed.


I had enough for three or four lunches. Yesterday I had it plain, today I cooked some bacon to go with it and then reheated some of the colcannon in the bacony pan. Yum.
Tomorrow I might have it with a poached egg.
Colcannon is a delicious way to eat dark leafy greens, I might even buy some more.


Billy's tea.

42 comments:

  1. OOh, excellent idea! I shall make some I think, I like the idea of repeat lunches with twists.

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  2. My OH and I enjoy kale mightily but I can see that the bacon would add to the flavour.

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    1. Bacon makes everything good says my son.

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  3. But has he eaten any yet?

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  4. You're dead right about the bacon - I love kale anyhow. Just as a side veg with an onion sauteed in butter then shedded kale added with a smidge of water. Like cabbage, but more intense. They had purple kale in WF yesterday - and yes - I think we need to plan a joint assault on it.

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  5. Anonymous7:39 pm GMT

    LOL, I've lived in Ireland for 7 years now and never tried this - you have inspired me. Thanks

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  6. Mmm. Colcannon is almost my best spud dish. Fried with a poached egg. Or with left over roast. Not made it with kale though...
    Ax

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  7. That looks delicious and perfect cold weather comfort food. Julie x

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  8. That looks great! I too want to conquer Kale. It's just such a strong taste. I might give this a go.
    Claire

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  9. Pati from London8:36 pm GMT

    Hi Sue, apparently there is a great Kale recipe in Gwyneath Paltrow's cookery book (I know she might not be your cup of tea.... sorry!) that everyone I know that has tried it says it is delicious! I will have to try it myself...It is with kale, rice and soya sauce... (I can check it out for you...). I think that Kale is very good to be transformed into crisps also. A few minutes in the oven with a bit of salt on top and there you go! The other day I saw the first blossom tree.... x Pati

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    1. I like the sound of kale with rice and soy, and indeed I like the sound of the many kale salad recipes I've seen. But it's cold and I want comfort food, maybe next month or in March when even more blossom will be around I will try something different.

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  10. I love kale, my favourite of all green veg, even more than broccoli although brussel tops come close. Never did like and still don't like spinach though.

    I had colcannon the night before last and bubble and squeak last night (left over left overs!) I only started eating colcannon a year or two ago and it tastes wonderful. I like it with kale best but sprouts or tops second best, cabbage not so much.

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  11. Excellent, I was too busy saying none of my lot would like it to even think about just doing it for myself! Yes, many cosy lunches ahead for this one. I'm a big fan of waitrose too - if you shop carefully and use their essential range it's superior quality and competitively priced.

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  12. Looks lovely. Saw this just as I was heading for the kitchen to heat up last night's bolognese ... would much sooner have your supper than mine, Sue!
    I went on a kale and rice diet some years ago - successful, but you'd die of boredom! The cream and bacon version looks far more appealing.

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  13. Looks yummy! We like kale at our house, and I like to make a sort of a Portugese Kale Soup. It has things like chorizo and beans in it, and other vegetables. I say sort of Portugese because I tend to make soup out of whatever's on hand, so my "recipe" isn't terribly authentic.

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  14. BK in PA9:36 pm GMT

    I'm stumped. What on earth is a colcannon? a spice? a veggie?

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    1. Mashed potato mixed with greens -usually cabbage but in this case kale. I'm sure google can help if you are still stumped.

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  15. Sue, I was raised in Virginia, and kale featured in quite a few supper menus, being a traditional Southern favorite vegetable. However, it was the only vegetable that I truly detested. Yes, I would eat a bit, but never all the kale that I was served

    When I grew up and began cooking my own meals, kale vanished from the shopping list. Now, when I see the photo at the top of this post and read your recipe and kale suggestions and praise in the prior comments, I think it might be time to give good ole kale another chance. (I do like potatoes, onions, butter, cream and Bacon!

    xo

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  16. Your lunch looked a lot more appetising than Billy's tea.

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  17. This takes me back to a farm my OH worked on in Fife where they grew hundreds of acres of kale every winter for the sheep. We saw it everywhere we looked from our cottage on the farm :-) Now I realise, on reading your blog, that I should have been out harvesting the odd helping for the family to eat (I'm sure the sheep could have spared us the odd leaf!).

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  18. Never thought of making Colcannon with Kale, looks wonderfully tasty. I wonder could it be turned into Bubble and Squeak?
    Julie xxxxx

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    1. Easily I should think.

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  19. That looks and sounds great. I really love Kale so I must make some!

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  20. Oh yum! Looks delicious, and yes, bacon improves most things I find! I've got some cavalo nero in the fridge needing using - I think that's going to go with other veggies in a veggie & pasta cheesey bake tonight...

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  21. Ok, I will concede that this looks pretty delicious. Especially the thought of eating it with a poached egg - oh yum. A nice idea for a warming, nourishing lunch, perfect for these sub-zero days.

    Gillian x

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  22. Anonymous5:49 pm GMT

    Sounds like you have just re-invented a Dutch national dish Sue, we call it Boerenkool Stampot (sounds like borecole) It was my Dad's favourite dish....he always requested it on his birthday in December. Lovely indeed with smoked bacon (or smoked sausage, but in Holland we have much nicer ones than over here), all you need then is a few pickled onions and gurkins on the side and there you have it! Tekela

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    1. Cabbage, potatoes and pork -the staple foods of Northern Europe! Thanks for that Tekela.
      Colcannon is an Irish dish. In Britain we have bubble and squeak which is similar but made with leftover potato and cabbage and fried in apan until it bubbles and squeaks :)

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  23. My son-in-law (to be) loves Kale so I will pass this recipe on to him. I love Waitrose and wouldn't even care if I had to pay a little bit more to shop there as they have such a good selection and a well laid out clutter free store. I actually find their prices comparable with Tesco and Sainsbury's and using Ocado I can get 20% off each shop if I wanted with the online offer they email to me each month.

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    1. Also Ocado give you the difference back if certain items are more expensive than Tesco. I got a voucher for £4 last week which has been added to this week's order. They also give you the odd freebie especially when you first start using them.

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  24. I have never in my life eaten kale but I loved the bowl you'd put by for the guinea pig! I've said this before but thank you for all your recipes & tips. I've just made your muffins with left over mincemeat and they are very very nice, plus roasted veg & chorizo - the smoked paprika is a revelation - thanks for the inspiration every day.





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  25. That looks good! Now I know what to do with those leftover mashed potatoes noone remembers to eat. I'm thinking with some cheese on top of mine......

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  26. I would just wash it, chop it up, and throw it in the freezer to add to soups during the year. Loved it, all nice and leafy green in my chicken noodle soup! Unfortunately, the deer got all the kale this year, and I got none!

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  27. Recommend the Massaged kale salad here

    http://www.cookusinterruptus.com/index.php?video_id=124

    really good... in fact recommend the Cookus Interruptus Site generally for reliable and interesting healthy recipes
    Ann

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    1. I love Cookus Interruptus.

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  28. I'd like to second Ann's massaged kale salad suggestion. It takes kale to a whole new dimension. You massage the trimmed kale with your fair hands, using enough olive oil to cover and a bit of salt or lemon added. This breaks down the toughness, while it remains toothsome and substantial. From there, you add ingredients to taste- such things as: grated carrot, tahini sauce, grated beetroot, spring onion, maybe some toasted pumpkin seeds, etc. I always add grated ginger and some chili for a bit of heat and I like a creamy touch in the winter--a bit of creme fraiche or tahini as mentioned. Delicious. It won't feel cold to the palate.

    The Portuguese Soup suggestion is also fabulous and easy to make.

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    1. Oops-- When I say use enough oil to "cover" I mean to "coat" the leaves!

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    2. Sounds very good indeed. Thanks :)

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  29. marguerite9:51 am GMT

    Just found your beautiful blog! What a joy! Thankyou so much for sharing. Off to conjure up some welsh cakes, as seeing your pictures have reminded me just how good they are! :) xx

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  30. We ate this tonight with toad in the hole. It was fantastic. Thanks for the inspiration and recipe. x

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