I’m sure that’s what Marie Antoinette said. Brassica oleracea is, after all, a star of a vege, nutritious and utterly easy to grow.
Easy to mistake cake for kale, after all. Even though it’s highly unlikely the former French Queen ever said anything of the sort, back in the 18th century.
Up until the Middle Ages kale was one of the most common green vegetables in Europe. In Scotland, it was so popular that the word was synonymous with food – to be off one’s kail was to feel too ill to eat.
In my winter garden kale is one of the few dependables, it keeps producing beautiful deep green leaves while the other plants sit and sulk. The plant reaches full size in around 10 weeks and you can start harvesting the leaves soon.
Best of all, you can make crunchy, tasty chips from it. You can. When I first heard about kale chips I was dubious but then we made some. Now I am addicted.
Some fresh picked leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 175ºC/350ºF.
- Wash kale carefully – little critters like hiding in the curly leaves – and pat dry with paper towels. Warm a little oil in a baking tray placed in the oven.
- Trim the stalks from the leaves and tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place in the tray and drizzle with oil.
- Bake for about 10 minutes – until they are crisp but not burnt. Season with the smallest sprinkle of salt once put on a warm plate.
Kale will always have a place in my garden and it will take something drastic to stop me from roasting the leaves to crunchy perfection in the oven.
Although if anyone has any favourite kale recipes I’m game…