CSA inspired Roasted Kale

Way back in snow-drenched January, when I was newly diagnosed with high cholesterol and all gung-ho about eating healthier and looking forward to spring vegetables, I joined a CSA with a friend.

A CSA is basically a farm-share – you pay upfront to get fresh veggies all spring and summer from a local farm.  I can never remember why it’s called a CSA (it stands for Community Supported Agriculture, thank you google).  Sounds great in theory, right? Eating local, check.  Supporting local farmers, check.  Farm-fresh veggies, yum-check.

In practice, I’m totally overwhelemed.

First of all, the first few weeks of the CSA were nearly 100% lettuce (and the veggies that weren’t lettuce were totally unidentifiable to me.)  As I am not, shall we say, Salad-Girl, this was a tremendous problem for me.

Luckily my sister Melissa – who works with our family business so is around to help me sort out the weekly bounty – loves salad.  She took many heads of gigando-leafed, what-on-earth-is-that lettuce off my hands.

But even Melissa, who is the very definition of Salad-Girl, had to resort to GRILLING LETTUCE because there was so much of it.  Let me repeat – grilling lettuce!  Who ever heard of such a thing.

Her teenage girls were not amused.

I am still laughing.

Luckily, the growing season has progressed – we are now past the lettuce stage, and I feel smug and smart, as I can identify nearly all of the vegetables in my box each week.

Identify – yes.  Know how to cook?  No.

The CSA weekly newsletter helps – they tell you what’s in that week’s box and even provide handy recipes for things like kohlrabi chips.  (I have still not tried kohlrabi – what on earth is it anyway?  I just know I’m happy Melissa likes it.)

It was getting a little crazy, though – I mean I’m paying all this money (and should be eating more fresh veggies) so I decided to try cooking something I’ve never before cooked.

No, not kohlrabi.

Kale.

Melissa told me it was easy to cook kale, and since: a) it did indeed sound easy; b) I know I like kale; and c) it’s not weird-looking kohlrabi, I threw a huge head of kale in the car, took it (along with vodka and wine of course) to my friends’ new summer-rental home in Litchfield, CT.

Roasted Kale

SCORE!  Roasted kale was easy as pie and so delicious everyone had seconds until there was not a scrap left.

I should note, however, that there were no kids eating, and the 4 adults had consumed a few bottles of wine.

That said, it was easy to make and wonderfully flavorful.  If you’ve not tried roasted kale, you might want to give it a go.

The recipe, if you want to call it that, is simple:

  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Rinse and rib the kale (toss ribs).  Rip into pieces – same as you would for lettuce (LOL)
  3. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper.  You want it to be barely-wet, not drenched and not dry. Add a few garlic cloves if you want – whole or minced.
  4. Roast for about 20 minutes and serve.

Goes particularly well with wine. Oh, and food.

Enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “CSA inspired Roasted Kale

  1. When I was a kid, my Hungarian dad used to slice up raw kohlrabi and we’d eat it like radishes. (I think it might be a German vegetable.) I remember really liking its fresh flavor. My husband had a kohlrabi encounter with Paul Newman in Westport’s Balducci’s. My husband was looking at a bin of kohlrabi, not knowing what it was. Paul Newman, who was shopping with his wife, came up to him, picked up a kohlrabi, and said, “You know what this tastes good with? You slice it up, salt it, and eat it with beer.” My husband still hasn’t tried it, but your blog has inspired me to try to find it. And a six-pack of Heineken.

  2. Your blog has inspired me to have a few glasses of wine with dinner tonight. Maybe my cooking will taste better!

    Actually, I have had roasted kale before, courtesy of a friend who is a really good cook. Fortunately for me, my friend has a vegetarian daughter and she is always trying to find new and interesting ways to fix vegetables (she grew up, as did I, with lettuce and tomato salads and canned green beans as the complete veggie offering). Hence, I was able to sample roasted kale and it is delicious. I had no idea until I saw your recipe that it was so simple to make. Although the prep sounds a little tricky–is the rib of the kale the middle part? I guess so…

    Also, could you possibly mention how one goes about joining a CAS? And was your experience overall a positive one and economically sound choice? Would it have been better to just buy the veggies at the supermarket?

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