We grow several types of kale here on our farm. However, our absolute favorite is the nero di Toscana, or Tuscan kale. Our Tuscan kale is an heirloom variety we purchased from the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Company. It is a fast growing, hardy green that outpaces the weeds in our garden, always a plus!
Tuscan kale is delicious. Unlike more conventional kales, nero di Toscana’s leaves are soft, and can be enjoyed uncooked in salads. One or two leaves are also a great addition to a smoothie or protein shake as well. This kale is extremely healthy; it is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, and like other kales, is purported to be a “superfood” that has even greater health effects if eaten regularly. In any case they are a versatile and delicious green that aren’t often available in your local supermarket.
Over the past few weeks, customers have often asked the best ways to prepare Tuscan kale, since it is so different form the standard kales they are used to. We love to turn ours into a tasty side dish, and make garlic-ginger Tuscan kale. This is a really simple recipe; here is everything you need to make some garlic-ginger Tuscan kale of your very own today:
- 1 large bunch of Tuscan kale
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon of finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 Tablespoon of chopped garlic
- Salt and Pepper to taste
On a cutting board with a sharp knife, remove the soft green part of the kales’ leaves by running the knife along the “spine” of each leaf; discard the stems (hint: they are great in compost, and your poultry will love eating them as well!). Cut the remaining leaves into large pieces, and then wash them in a colander under cold water.
Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat, then add your oil. Stir in your garlic and ginger, and let it cook for one minute. Ensure you stir it frequently, and don’t allow the garlic or fginger to burn.
Place the kale leaves in the pan, and let them cook on its side
for one minute. Then flip all of the leaves and let them cook for one minute more. Add salt and pepper to taste, and your garlic-ginger kale is ready to serve.
Garlic-ginger kale is a great compliment to a meat dish, like pork or beef; pair it with some grass-fed pork from the Laurel Ridge Farm and a nice Chianti if you have the chance!
We will have plenty of our delicious Tuscan kale on hand this weekend at the Litchfield Hills Farmers market. Come get some, and enjoy a meal of your own garlic-ginger Tuscan kale this week!