How to Use Kale

How to Use Kale. Kale is one of the lesser-known plants commonly referred to as greens. Like collard and mustard greens, kale provides a good source of vitamin A and C, as well as an excellent source of fiber. You can find kale at the grocery store year around, but kale season peaks in early winter.

Grow kale all winter long. Like other greens, kale tastes sweeter after the first frost. If you harvest frozen kale leaves, cook them without thawing first.

Select young kale leaves. Old greens are tough and taste bitter, so harvest kale while the leaves are young and tender or select young leaves at the market.

Wash kale thoroughly before cooking. Fill a clean washbasin or your sink with cold water and submerge the kale leaves. Swirl the leaves around with your hands and drain. The grit drops to the bottom.

Store kale carefully if you aren't going to use it immediately. After washing, shake the leaves gently or run through a salad spinner. Wrap the leaves in paper towels and keep them in the salad crisper of your refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Cook tender young greens briefly in a stir-fry or steam before serving. You must boil mature kale vigorously for several minutes to soften the rigid cellulose structure.

Season your cooked kale simply with lemon juice, salt, olive oil and pepper. You can use finely chopped kale in vegetable soup or as a pizza topping.

Decorate your buffet table and serving platters with kale leaves. Pack fresh kale leaves in crushed ice before using and then tuck the leaves around your main dishes as an accent. Use Redbor kale for its dramatic magenta color.