Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More Adventures with Greens

A while back I wrote about my first experiences with chard. This week I've tried for the first time another of the dark, leafy greens: kale. The curly, firm-bodied leaves were too pretty to pass up at the co-op this weekend, and I chopped some up and added it to the fish chowder I was making. Absolutely wonderful -- how did I wait so long to discover how good this is? It keeps its body after cooking, rather than turning completely limp like spinach, so it added a nice texture as well as a good contrasting color to my soup, which is also filled with local yellow potatoes, carrots and squash. Kale is a member of the cabbage family, and I wondered if the chowder would take on a strong odor, but two days later it doesn't seem to have.

According to a Wikipedia entry, kale is among the most nutritious of vegetables, being high in beta carotene, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin (which I've never even heard of before) and reasonably rich in calcium, and was the most common green vegetable in Europe until the end of the Middle Ages. I like it better than chard. It's going to be a new regular in my kitchen!

4 comments:

Rob Hardy said...

When I was in graduate school in Providence, RI, one of the local specialties was Portuguese kale and linguica (Portuguese sausage) soup. Delicious! You can find recipes on the internet. You should try it out some day, if you can find linguica.

Penny said...

The sturdy greens do seem to go well with sausage -- it's a good balance of flavors and textures. I don't remember the soup you mention when I was there -- the main specialty I recall was the Portuguese sweet bread, similar to the Hawaiian bread we can find in the stores here, but utterly fresh and fragrant. As I'm sure you recall, it was never eaten sliced -- always by pulling it apart in hunks, which made it even more fun.

Rob Hardy said...

I've baked Portuguese sweet bread before, and it turned out pretty well. Almost as I remembered it from the Portuguese bakery on Wickenden Street. If I ever bake it again, I'll bring you some!

Penny said...

That would be great!