What do I do with Kale?
photo from Live Earth CSA Farm in California
The last two weeks I received a bunch of Kale in our Farm Share. I did a little bit of research on Kale to make sure I used and cared for it properly as not to waste it.
Storage: Place in a storage bag in the fridge. I normally place a paper towel to soak up excess moisture so that the kale lasts longer. Kale can be frozen for many months after being cooked and chopped in a container. It's time to throw out when it starts to turn yellow, brown or wilted.
Uses: Salads, in its tender state, and stir fries, steamed, sautéed, or mixed with pasta. Normally combined with strong flavors to balance it’s own intensity. Frozen Kale is good in soups and casseroles (lasagna).
Safety note: Kale interferes with Calcium absorption. So don't take supplements and Kale at the same time. Kale also is not beneficial in its raw form for individuals with a thyroid problem.
I have had Kale before in a Portuguese soup called caldo verde. It was a nice comfort potato soup but not really a summer item to cook. Even so, I do not remember cooking with it. My husband begs to differ. So, I dragged out my cookbooks and debated what would work and some of my friends passed on recipes and suggestions.
I finally decided I would mix it in with something because I was not sure I wanted to experience the pure version. I will eventually. The recipe I chose was from Everyday Food with some changes.
It was delicious especially with perfectly sweet tomatoes that popped with every bite.
Lasagna with Sausage and Kale
Prep time: 40 min
Total time: 1 hr 20 min
Notes: You can assemble up to one day ahead and refrigerate, covering tightly; cooking time will be the same. Kale can be replaced with 2 boxes of 10 oz frozen chopped spinach; thaw and drain before adding to noodle mixture in step 3 (skip step 2). Regular lasagna noodles can be cooked instead and added in step 3.
16 oz of Pork Sausage no casing
2 large Onions, halved and thinly sliced (4 cups)
4 Garlic Cloves, coarsely grated
2 bunches of Kale (12 oz), thick stems removed
coarse salt and pepper
9 sheets of Lasagna Noodles, no bake, broken into small pieces
1 pint of Cherry Tomatoes
3 cups Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a 5-quart pot, cook sausage over medium heat, stirring often, until browned, about 5 min. Stir in onions; cover and cook until softened, 5 min. Uncover, cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 10-15 min. Add garlic; cook 2 min. Transfer to large bowl.
2. Add Kale and 1/2 cup water to pot; season with salt and pepper. Cover; cook over medium-low heat, until tender, 10-15 min Drain; coarsely chop. Transfer to bowl with onions.
3. Add noodles, tomatoes and ricotta to the bowl; season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish; smooth top with a spatula. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until golden brown, about 40 min. Cool 10 min before serving.