Kale is a very old fashioned vegetable, but one that is coming back into fashion, mainly I think due to it’s fantastic health benefits. It is iron in a leaf.
It is also very easy to grow and will last, even here in Cumbria all through the winter. I grew it from seed sown in June and planted out at the end of July. The leaves can be harvested from September onwards, but I usually save mine until December onwards when there is little else left, and eat my other crops which will not survive the winters wet and wind.
I grew 2 varieties last summer which are happily keeping me in veg this winter, firstly Black Tuscany, which as the name kind of gives away, is a dark green, and as the leaves get bigger, black, and Pentland Brig which is a green variety.
To harvest, just take off the leaves that you need, especially early in Autumn as the plant will continue to grow and make more leaves.
To cook, I never boil, a lot of this is the thought of the smell of cooking cabbage!! I steam the leaves chopped into bite size pieces. As the season goes on, I removed the central vein and cut off the storks which can become tough. With a knob of butter this is a great veg with any roast.
By February, I am getting a bit bored of plain old steamed kale… but I have the best recipe ever for kale salad, how odd does that sound? And it is easy, I serve if for friends who come for dinner often with roast chicken, as I would in summer with fresh salad leaves. It makes a good talking point as well as being cheap and very cheerful…. I will post the recipe next. Do have a go, even if you having got any in a veg patch this year, farm shops will be selling it and some supermarkets will to.