Have you ever eaten kale? Why not switch your cabbage for kale this week?
Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin (both good for eye health), and reasonably rich in calcium.
Along with broccoli, it is one of the nutrition stand-outs among vegetables.
It is also an especially noteworthy source of calcium!
Kale, along with the rest of the members of the Brassica family (such as cabbage and broccoli), contains a number of anti-cancer chemicals called glucosinolates which block the growth of certain types of cancer cells, boost DNA repair and help cells to detox.
It can be braised, sautéed or baked. But make sure you clean the kale well – the curly leaves can trap dirt!
This is a great recipe from Sophie Grigson (who wrote one of my favourite cookbooks: “Eat your Greens”).
Curly kale (or cavolo nero) with rosemary and chilli
This is excellent as a side dish with roast free-range chicken, or as a topping for bruschetta – griddle slices of good bread, rub with raw garlic, top with the cooked kale, then finish with a spoonful of mild, creamy goats’ cheese.
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large Onion, sliced
2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
1 medium or hot fresh Red Chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
4 cloves Garlic, sliced
250g/9oz curly Kale or Cavolo Nero, trimmed of tough stems, rinsed and cut into 1cm / ½ inch thick slices
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
Heat the olive oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed lidded pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, turn down the heat and fry gently until very tender.
Add the rosemary, chilli and garlic and fry for one more minute.
Add the kale or cavolo nero and season with salt. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to its absolute minimum and leave to cook gently for about 20 minutes. Stir once after five minutes, then again 10 minutes later.
Remove the rosemary stalks, then taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve at once.