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How to Prepare Kale

I am lucky enough to say that my boys love to eat kale. There was actually a kale incident the other night whereby I only made one bunch and some grabbing occurred at the table as the boys “fought” over it. Ok, sorry to brag, however this is what sometimes happens in my house. Because kale is a hot commodity and because I don’t get to the grocery store on a daily basis (who does?), I try to keep kale on hand at all times to avoid said conflict.

Here is how I store my kale so that we can have our McKale on a daily basis –that is when we’re not eating broccoli –I know, I know, it’s not nice to be boastful –I apologize!

How to Prepare Kale
  • 1 bunch kale
  1. Fill a large deep bowl with water
  2. Take the rubber band or twist-tie off the bunch of kale
  3. Submerge the leaves of kale in water, swishing them around gently to remove any dirt
  4. Allow kale to soak for a few minutes and swish again
  5. Pour water out of the bowl and rinse kale under fresh water
  6. Spread some cloth towels out on a counter or your kitchen table
  7. Place the kale on the towels and allow to dry for about an hour while you do something else
  8. Come back to kitchen and chop kale into 1-2 inch wide strips on a cutting board with a sharp knife
  9. Discard the very bottom of the stems; do not remove the ribs, they are delicious and crunchy and besides we don't want to waste food
  10. Place chopped kale in a cloth or paper towel
  11. Fit into a Ziploc bag, squeeze the air out and zip closed
  12. Write the date on a small piece of tape (dog ear your tape for extra easy removal)
  13. Place kale in the fridge
  14. Keeps for up to 5 days

We all know that fresh vegetables are the best in terms of taste and nutrition.  And we know that cutting into anything (think of an apple that begins to brown) decreases the life force and freshness of that living thing.  However, these are the times (baseball season) that call for creativity and shortcuts.

What I love about this little storage trick is that on a busy night I can come home, put a steamer basket and pot with an inch of water on the stove and have kale ready to serve in 5 minutes.  With 2 children on 3 different baseball teams this year, I’ll need as many shortcuts as I can get.

Serve your kale with gomasio or try this “fancy” dish.  Sometimes my boys like to add ume plum vinegar and toasted sesame oil to their steamed kale, though my favorite way to eat it is raw. For other great kale recipes (especially his Kale and Mushroom Stew), see Mark Bittman’s blog in the New York Times.

By the way, my 10 year old son was the “hand model” for this shoot and looked forward to it for days –I love how confidently he holds that sharp knife and chops.  The boys have had their own knives (smaller, duller versions to begin with) since they were about 4 years old. And they learned young how to make kale an easy, ready to go dish for those busy nights!