I came to kale hesitantly, and rather late in life – at least for a person who loves food and spent several years as a vegetarian. Like many Midwestern kids, I grew up eating the standard frozen vegetables – carrots, peas, broccoli, corn – and those that made a crunchy addition to a school lunch. Greens – aside from salads and the occasional spinach – just weren’t on the menu. That is, until a few years ago.
While we’ve wholeheartedly embraced rainbow chard, kale has yet to catch on. We want to eat more of it, though, because of the tremendous health benefits. A few weeks ago we made an excellent kale and sausage soup, and tonight I made Orangette’s Spaghetti with Braised Kale. The lacinato kale was a bit droopy after a few days in the crisper, but it woke right up when braised with garlic and onions. Tossed with the last of our spaghetti, the juice of half a lemon, and an excellent parmigiano-reggiano, the dish was simple and earthy. I don’t know if this will be the kale recipe, the one that gets it into our diet on a regular basis, but it’s a step in the right direction.