Monday, September 17, 2012


After a difficult start, I was finally able to harvest some kale. The first few seedlings were devoured by caterpillars, which was making me rethink the whole pesticide avoidance thing. I was picking teeny tiny caterpillars off by hand (gross!) because the little suckers wouldn't wash off. But I kept replanting (good thing seeds are relatively cheap) and finally had some success.

My schedule is such that I do most of my gardening on the weekends. Some days, I leave for work when it's dark and some days I get some after dark (and some not-so-good days, both), so I harvest when I can, even if I don't know what I'm going to do with it. I had a decent sized batch, but didn't know what to do with it, so I decided to blanch and freeze the leaves to use in the future. This was way more work than I anticipated and I'm not sure if I'm going to do it again. I ended up with 2 quart size baggies.

Here's my method for removing the leaves from the stems. Many websites suggest cutting the stem off the, which is pretty easy. I prefer to tear the leaves off, which is even easier. You can then tear leaves into whatever size pieces you want.

What to do with the stems? I baked them with some parmesan cheese and a bit of oil like this recipe from Kayln's Kitchen. I should have parboiled the stems first. I forgot that kale stems are tougher than Swiss chard stems so the dish ended up tasty, but chewy.

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