Winter or summer, kale, chard and collards are hearty greens that can be prepared many ways. They make a perfect raw salad that marries well with any number of textural additions like nuts, dried fruit, shredded carrots and shaved cabbage. When lightly steamed or blanched, winter greens are flexible enough to be shaped as a wrapper that can be stuffed with rice, cooked meat and vegetables. Kale leaves make a delicious chip when they are tossed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and dried on a sheet pan overnight in a 200 degree oven, while chard can be sliced thinly and stir fried with scallions and brown rice in seconds.
As a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and broccoli, kale is regarded by many as a “super food”. Crucifers are high in antioxidants, beta carotene, calcium, vitamins K and C, soluble fiber and 3,3′-Diindolylmethane, a plant compound with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and cancer preventing properties. Some “Super Food” proponents even believe that levels of sulforaphane that are present in kale and its fellow crucifers posses cancer fighting properties.
A hearty vegetarian classic for all seasons