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Kale, the imperial green

From: Chef Bobby Perillo

Kale salad

Over the past few years it appears that kale has gained recognition, popularity, and respect in our local food markets, food service establishments, and in the media. We are beginning to fully appreciate the benefits of kale, which that the ancients knew long ago. Kale is native to Asia Minor and the Mediterranean region where it was part of the Greek and Roman diet dating back over 2000 years, when its cultivation is believed to have begun. The cultivation of kale, a cruciferous vegetable, has led to the development of other cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, head cabbage, and cauliflower. The Romans are responsible for spreading kale into Northern Europe through trade and conquest.

Kale is considered the healthiest green full of helpful fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The helpful properties of kale are certainly a draw, but so is the vegetable’s flavor and versatility. Kale thrives in cool weather and is frost resistant, making the Hudson Valley an ideal growing region. There are many varieties of kale, the most common in our area are curly kale, Russian kale, and dino kale also called dinosaur, Tuscan kale, black kale or cavolo nero which is the Italian translation. The leafy green is fantastic in hearty vegetable or bean soup, it can be steamed, sautéed, and transformed into crispy chips by grilling, baking or frying.

Salads are a quick and easy application for kale that can suit most seasons while delivering a deliciously satisfying outcome. A winter fruit that flatters our immigrant local leafy hero is the pomegranate. The pomegranate hails from Asia Minor too; the exotic fruit brings its own unique flavor, texture, and nutritional advantages. Pomegranates can be cooked, made into molasses, juiced, or eaten raw. Raw pomegranate seeds make a nice addition to a holiday cheese plate, complimenting most all types of cheese. If you have never deseeded a pomegranate before it can be intimidating. The recipe below offers some support instructions, if that does ease your fears there are numerous YouTube tutorial videos on how to seduce the seeds out of this enticing fruit. Pomegranate seeds combined with kale make for a festive and healthy addition to the holiday season.

Pairs perfectly with KRIS Sparkling Cuvee

View Recipe Here