Stripping Kale | Tuesday's Tip of The Day!
Tough greens with a woody core can be intimidating and just plain frustrating to deal with. Plus, if the leaves are consumed while too large and before massaging, chances are you might not even care for it! Regardless of your current relationship with kale, understanding a few fundamentals on its anatomy can help ease the frustration.
First of all, make sure you thoroughly wash the leaves, stem and inner woody spine from top to bottom. Kale tends to be extremely dirty so pay special attention to each “nook and cranny.”
Secondly, as I am sure you already guessed, the tough woody core should be discarded. My jaw hurts just thinking about it! To do this, start at the stem end by peeling back an inch of the leaf away from the spine. Grasp your entire hand around the greens (where you just pulled it down) and quickly, pull your hand down toward the other end. Doing so creates a zipper like affect quickly remove the leaves from the cord in one quick “zip.” Alternatively, simply use a pairing knife or your hands to remove the leaves from the core.
Thirdly, kale is a sturdy (and sometimes stubborn) green that is best enjoyed when thinly sliced. Instead of tearing the leaves into bite size pieces, stack the leaves on top of each other and thinly slice across into super thin strips.
And, last but not least, stemming from the above comment, kale should be broken down into a more manageable state. The best way to do this, beside thinly slicing, is by massaging. As the word massaging suggests, tightly squeeze handfuls of kale until it breaks down in size resulting in a softer texture.
As far as cooking is concerned, kale is excellent served raw and tossed with a delicious vinaigrette or even added to soups at the last minute of cooking. Personally, I love it in my minestrone soup!
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