Dinosaur kale, also known as lacinato kale, is a cool weather green. This nutritional powerhouse is an excellent source of vitamins K, C and A, with just 1 cup providing almost 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of these vitamins. It is also a high quality source of iron, protein, calcium and manganese. The high fiber content in these greens also makes them an ideal choice for heart health. Dinosaur kale is a delicious addition to soups, stews and sauces, but the simplest way to prepare them is by braising.
Things You'll Need
Choose fresh kale. Fresh leaves will not display signs of wilting, mildew or holes in the leaves. Stems should snap when broken.
Wash thoroughly. Because kale has many crevices in the leaves it easily traps dirt and sand. To remove all debris, submerge leaves in your disinfected sink and agitate the water. This should allow all the dirt to sink to the bottom. Remove the leaves and pat dry with paper towels.
Remove stems. Kale stems are very fibrous, and although they are edible, they take much longer to cook than the leaves so it is best to remove them. The stems can be reserved and used for things like juicing, or as a healthy addition to a green smoothie. Remove the stems by sliding a sharp knife down each side of the stem, separating the leaf from the stem.
Use your sharp knife to chop all the leaves into bite size pieces. This will make the kale easier to eat once cooked.
Braise by placing 3/4 cup of liquid, such as water or broth, in a frying pan or saute pan that has a lid. Add the chopped kale. Turn the heat on medium and cover. Allow to cook covered for fives minute, stir, then continue to cook for another five minutes until all leaves are tender. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Serve braised kale as a side to almost any main course, or as a bed for poached eggs.
For added flavor, add minced onion, garlic or red pepper flakes to the braising liquid.
References and ResourcesThe World's Healthiest Foods: Kale
Precision Nutrition: How to Cook with Kale
The World's Healthiest Foods: Poached Eggs Over Sautéed Greens