Dinosaur Tail Kale
Lacinato (aka Dinosaur kale) has tall narrow leaves and a wrinkled texture. Like most other kale varieties, it is usually blanched first, and then sautéed with other, flavorful ingredients. In Campanian cuisine, anchovies are often added. It is commonly used in pastas and soups, but can also be eaten raw, in a salad.
The dark green, red-stemmed Russian kale may be one of the sweetest greens in the kale family. The tips of the leaves are tender enough to be eaten raw, but are improved by cooking which tenderizes the tough parts of the leaf. Russian kale has tough, woody stems, however, so be sure to remove as much of them as possible before cooking.
To store, wrap kale in a damp towel or in a plastic bag and refrigerate, preferably in crisper drawer, for up to 1 week. Leaves will droop if allowed to dry out. Plunge in cold water for 10 minutes to rehydrate. Kale can also be frozen. Wash, separate from stem, and blanch leaves for 2 minutes. Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking, drain, and pack into airtight containers such as zip-lock freezer bags. Use the frozen kale in soups or sauteed dishes after thawing.
Kale, at the beginning of the season, is still very tender, making it suitable raw or used in a gently massaged kale salad. The kale is sliced thinly and sprinkled with kosher salt and allowed to sit for 10-20 minutes before tossing with remaining ingredients. Check out recipes at www.saveur.com or search for ‘massaged kale salad’. I know it sounds funny but massaging the kale with salt makes for a great salad.
Kale greens pair well with olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic, potatoes, legumes, pasta, and eggs.