Kale is IN. It’s the farmer’s market superstar these days. Everybody in the foodie world is talking about it, but from the countless emails I get, it seems like the majority of everyday folks don’t have a clue about what to do with it. I have to admit, I shied away from it myself for awhile, but I finally took the plunge. With a bit trial and error, it’s come to be one of my “go-to” little darlings in the kitchen. You’ll find numerous types of kale at the market including curly, red, purple, ornamental, lacinato, and more. It can be tangy, bitter, rich and mild depending on the type. Taste-wise, I’m partial to lacinato kale, also known as “dinosaur” or Tuscan kale. The long stems and leaves coupled with the bumpy, bubbly surface are visually appealing as well. It’s hearty texture is perfect for soups and stews as well as omelettes, smoothies, sautees, and salads. My Green Smoothie is thick, rich, loaded with vitamins, and perhaps a little out of your comfort zone, but give it a try, you may be a convert! This was one of the featured recipes in the Spring 2013 issue of Santa Barbara Dining & Destinations with the beautiful photo taken by the talented Matt Dayka. Enjoy!
1 cup water
2 large kale leaves cut away from stem
1/2 cup raw spinach leaves
½ celery stalk, strings removed
½ ripe avocado, peeled
1 kiwi, peeled
¼ ripe banana
2 tsp lemon juice
6 ice cubes
Garnish with watercress
Pour water into blender. Add each ingredient, one at a time, blending as you go. Add the ice cubes last. This makes a very thick, tangy, hearty smoothie, with just a hint of sweetness from the fruit. Omit the fruit completely if you want a more savory taste or add extra banana for sweeter.
OPTIONAL: For extra ZIP, add a pinch of fresh ginger!Kale Spread~ Santa Barbara Dining & Destinations, Spring 2013 issue