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In season mid-winter: Kale

In season mid-winter: Kale

Kale is a leafy-green vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family, a group of vegetables that includes broccoli and cabbage.


Choose firm, deeply- coloured leaves with moist hardy stems and avoid leaves that are wilted or show signs of browning, yellowing and have small holes. Kale with smaller-sized leaves will be more tender and have a milder flavour than those with larger leaves.


Place in a plastic bag removing as much air as possible and store in the refrigerator. Do not wash kale before storing because this will encourage spoilage.


Kale is a good source of vitamins A, C and K as well as a source of fibre and also provides some B vitamins and minerals. Kale also contains a huge diversity of phytochemicals including flavonoids, carotenoids and glucosinolates (these compounds are believed to be responsible for the health benefits of broccoli).


Kale makes a tasty addition to soups and casseroles. Other ideas are:

  • Sauté kale with garlic and ginger as a side dish.
  • Make a winter salad of thinly sliced kale, red capsicum, onion, raisins, and your favourite dressing.
  • Boerenkool, a traditional Dutch dish of kale with mashed potatoes, makes a perfect side for meat, fish or sausages.
  • Fry chopped kale and apples then stew slowly. Before serving, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and chopped walnuts.
  • Combine chopped kale, pine nuts and feta cheese with wholegrain pasta drizzled with olive oil.
Did you know? Native to the Mediterranean region, kale was popular in ancient Egypt and Rome. The Romans spread it throughout Europe and during the Middle Ages it was the most common green vegetable.
First published: Jul 2013

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