For years, Kale and other cooking greens have been appreciated mainly in Southern-style cuisine. But kale also figures largely in the cuisines of Europe, and can be substituted for spinach (with some adjustments to cooking time) in just about any recipe.

On the market year-round, kale is most abundant December through February. The top producing states include Virginia, New York, and New Jersey. Scotch kale and bulk kale are the only forms primarily grown for commercial purposes. There are several strains within the Scotch kale category, including Dwarf Green Curled Scotch, Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch and Tall Green Curled Scotch. There are colored varieties of kale; sometimes called “salad-savoy” and they are most often grown for ornamental purposes although they are edible.

Kale is a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene and is rich in phytochemicals that may protect against cancer.

Cooked kale is good with lemon juice, butter or crumbled bacon. Cooked kale is a little bitter while raw kale, as a salad green is sweet. So this holiday season, try it in soups, pasta sauces, stir-fries, omelettes or on it’s own. You might be surprised.


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