Chef Eva's Recipe in the Dallas Morning News

Chef Eva had the opportunity to contribute to an article in the Dallas Morning News recently on Kale. Her recipe is below.

 It’s Time to Give Kale a Try

Photo: /Evans Caglage/Staff Photographer

Kale comes in a number of varieties, including (from left) red, purple, green (top right), and lacinato (bottom right).

By KIM PIERCE, Special Contributor
Published 15 February 2011
Kale shows up on almost every list of super-nutritious foods. So why aren’t people madly devouring it?
“Fear,” says Robin Plotkin, a Dallas registered dietitian who happens to love kale. “It boils down to fear of the unknown. We have to remember it’s a long way for some people to go, from head lettuce to romaine to field greens or spinach, much less arugula or kale.”
Cookbook author Deborah Madison has also seen the kale fear factor. “What people tend to fear, or so they tell me, about cabbages and kale is that they’ll be strong-tasting,” she wrote in
Local Flavors (Broadway Books, 2002). “… It’s certainly not true of kale, although it always looks as if it will be tough, overly hearty and hard to tame.”
“The ‘how do you cook it?’ is actually what I hear most,” Plotkin says.
Roger, that. Until now, I had never cooked kale. Eaten it? Yes, especially Whole Foods Market’s delicate emerald-sesame kale and those wonderful Rhythm-brand kale chips the store carries. (They’re also sold at Green Spot Market & Fuels and Natural Grocers.) But, like so many others, I was never quite sure what to do with a fresh bunch at home.
Now I know, and I’m so glad I got over myself. Kale is a fabulous green, whether prepared in a salad, such as Eva Greer’s from Greer Farm near Daingerfield, in a soup or as DIY kale chips.
Parents across the Internet rave that the baked, homemade chips are how they get their kids to happily eat kale. And although Plotkin’s 18-month-old son, Ben, doesn’t eat her homemade ones yet, he loves the Kool Ranch flavor made by Rhythm Chips.
Kale is a snap! As easy as spinach or arugula, and it doesn’t take as long to wash. It’s also delicious: Think “cabbage light.” Read on for everything you need to know to get started with this friendly, if misunderstood, vegetable.
Kim Pierce is a Dallas freelance writer.
Open a seed catalog and, as with tomatoes, you’ll find dozens of kinds of kale. You may see a variety of names in stores, but these are the broad categories:
Green kale: Dusky green with frilly, lacy leaves
Red kale: Green-tinged, pinkish-purple to purple lacy leaves
Dinosaur kale: Bright, dark green, a relative newcomer with long, slender leaves that look a little like reptile skin; hence, the name. Also known as cavolo nero, dragon tongue, black kale, black cabbage, Tuscan kale and lacinato.
Ornamental kale: Developed by plant breeders from edible kale, also edible if not treated with pesticides.
“Kale and collards are … in effect, primitive cabbages. … These leafy non-heading cabbages bear the Latin name
Brassica oleracea variety acephala, the last term meaning ‘without a head’ … “
Source: Aggie Horticulture Archives
It tastes a little like cabbage, but milder. If you’re going to eat it raw: Plotkin says the curly-leaf green variety is milder. I find the dinosaur kale milder, so you’ll just have to taste for yourself.
The stems are tough, but not the leaves. Just strip them from the stems before you start chopping or cooking.
Kale is a nutrition powerhouse. One cup raw has about 35 calories, but provides 210 percent of the daily value for vitamin A, 130 percent DV for vitamin C, 25 percent DV for manganese and 10 percent DV for calcium (making it one of the best plant sources of calcium). It’s also one of the top sources for vitamin K and has substantial amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, folic acid and copper, as well as the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, it contains a boatload of beneficial phytonutrients. “Why wouldn’t you eat it,” Plotkin says, “when you can get all that in a single ingredient?”
Source: Holley Grainger, R.D.
Like other greens, kale’s volume is greatly reduced when it’s cooked. Allow at least half a bunch per person.
•Make delicate, crunchy kale chips.
•Add it to soups or stews near the end of the cooking process. Lentil soup and bean soups are especially kale-friendly.
•Add it to the pasta pot while pasta cooks, as in Orecchiette With Kale and Tomatoes. (Kale becomes tender in five to 10 minutes.)
•Saute like spinach, then add your favorite seasonings, such as roasted sesame oil, sesame seeds and rice vinegar for an Asian touch; or garlic, toasted pine nuts and olive oil to go Italian.
•Make it part of a salad, as in Eva Greer’s Tuscan Kale Salad With Toasted Walnuts, Dried Cherries and Parmesan Shavings. If you’re trying it in a salad for the first time, Plotkin suggests mixing it with other greens, such as spinach or butter lettuce.
Try the blog, where Michigan cancer survivor and registered dietitian Diana Dyer rhapsodizes about growing and eating kale.
Kale Chips
Published 15 February 2011
1 bunch of kale
1 tablespoon olive oil Sea salt
Preheat the oven to 300 F. Remove the stems and cut or tear leaves into large pieces. Toss with the olive oil, using your fingers so that every leaf is well coated. Sprinkle with the sea salt and toss again to blend.
Spread the prepared kale leaves in a single layer on 1 or 2 cookie sheets. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Eat them out of hand or use them as a garnish on soups and salads. The chips will stay crisp for several days. Makes 2 servings. Variations •Substitute flavored popcorn toppings, such as cheddar cheese, for the salt. Toppings with a powdery texture adhere well to the chips. Dust before baking, then add more afterward to taste, if needed. •Toss the raw kale in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar before baking. (Yes, you really need that much vinegar.) •Toss in finely grated parmesan or asiago cheese after baking. The finer the consistency, the better it will adhere.
Nutritional Facts Per Serving
Calories: 146, Total fat: 8g, Calories from Fat: 44%, Sodium: 218mg, Cholesterol: 0mg, Fiber: 3mg, Carbohydrate: 17mg, Protein: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g
Source: DMN
Published in The Dallas Morning News on
Tuscan Kale Salad With Toasted Walnuts, Dried Cherries and Parmesan Shavings
Published 15 February 2011
Eva Greer/The Greer Farm
2 bunches Tuscan (or other) kale, washed, and ribs and stems removed
1/3 cup dried cherries 1/2 cup toasted walnuts (see Note) 1/4 of a small red onion, thinly sliced 3 tablespoons dark balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 3 tablespoons agave syrup 1 teaspoon fresh thyme 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon kosher salt Freshly cracked black pepper parmesan cheese shavings
Chiffonade the kale: Stack the washed kale leaves (stems removed), rolling them into a tight roll, and then cut across the rolled leaves with a sharp knife. This produces fine ribbons of kale. Place the kale in a salad bowl. Add the cherries, walnuts and red onion.
In a separate small bowl, stir together the vinegars, agave nectar and thyme. Continue to mix while adding the olive oil. Season the vinaigrette with salt and black pepper. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette, add the parmesan shavings and serve. Because kale is in the cabbage family, this can be made in advance and refrigerated; it will not wilt. Makes 3 to 4 servings. Note: To toast the walnuts, preheat the oven to 400 F. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until golden. Or place in a single layer in a skillet over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, until golden.

Nutritional Facts Per Serving
Calories: 438, Total fat: 25g, Calories from Fat: 48%, Sodium: 668mg, Cholesterol: 3mg, Fiber: 8mg, Carbohydrate: 50mg, Protein: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g
Source: Eva Greer/Greer Farm

Orecchiette With Kale and Tomatoes
Published 15 February 2011
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley 1 (28-ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, if desired 2 tablespoons salt 1 pound orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta) 6 bunches kale, washed, stemmed and torn into pieces 2/3 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for passing at the table
Heat the olive oil in a 1-quart pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and parsley and cook for 1 minute. Fold in the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Season with the pepper, and keep the tomato sauce warm, covered, over the lowest possible heat.
Meanwhile, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add the salt, orecchiette and kale; cook according to orecchiette package directions. (Do not overcook. Pasta will continue cooking after it’s taken off the heat; al dente is the ideal.) Drain the pasta and greens well and return to the pot. Fold in the cheese and tomato sauce, and serve hot. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional Facts Per Serving
Calories: 1013, Total fat: 35g, Calories from Fat: 30%, Sodium: 1201mg, Cholesterol: 7mg, Fiber: 17mg, Carbohydrate: 150mg, Protein: 39g, Saturated Fat: 6g
Source: DMN
Sesame Kale and Sausage
Published 15 February 2011
5 teaspoons olive oil (divided use)
2 large links lean chicken sausage 1 bunch of kale, rinsed and stemmed 1 minced clove garlic 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved Toasted sesame seeds
Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the sausage until nearly done. Remove the sausage and set aside.
Add the remaining 3 teaspoons olive oil to the pan. Add the kale and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and stir. Once the kale is nearly wilted, return the sausage to the pan and stir until everything is warmed through. Top with the toasted sesame seeds. Serve with brown rice or quinoa. Makes 2 to 3 servings.
Nutritional Facts Per Serving
Calories: 307, Total fat: 20g, Calories from Fat: 56%, Sodium: 641mg, Cholesterol: 64mg, Fiber: 4mg, Carbohydrate: 19mg, Protein: 17g, Saturated Fat: 4g
Source: DMN