Baby Kale? Baby Kale!

Bag of Baby KaleBaby kale! Costco is selling 1 1/2 pound bags of organic baby kale, a new product for Anchorage. In Alaska, fresh baby greens in April and early May are a glorious treat. It’s not just food junkies who feel this way; I went to a party with normal people last week and baby kale was the evening’s hot topic.

Baby kale is tender, with only a mild bite, and is perfect for eating raw. It makes a great addition to fresh salads of all kinds. We’ve been enjoying it mixed with romaine lettuce and dressed with sherry vinaigrette. I’ve also been adding a handful to my breakfast smoothies.

My friend Kalyn Denny of Kalyn’s Kitchen has also fallen in love with baby kale. She recently developed a great recipe for Raw Baby Kale Salad with Apples, Sunflower Seeds, and Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette that I can’t wait to try.

Kale and Squash Tart with Blue CheeseBaby kale is good cooked, as well as raw. For breakfast yesterday, I enjoyed baby kale in scrambled eggs. I’ve also used it to flavor risotto and to add depth and interest to a simple garlic and olive oil pasta sauce.

Although the recipe below is for a free-form tart, the filling may also be served without a crust. To do so, make the filling and bake in an oiled gratin dish until the cheese starts melting. Kale, Squash, and Blue Cheese Gratin makes a lovely addition to any holiday table.

For those who’ve tried it, how are you using baby kale? Please leave a comment below to share your ideas.

Be sure to check out the recipes mentioned in this post:

 

17 Responses to Baby Kale? Baby Kale!

  1. This looks fabulous! I can understand how you’ve become addicted! :)

  2. This looks so good and healthy. Kale is a rage at the moment…i love it raw…

  3. Melissa says:

    I toss big handfuls of kale and spinach into the last minute or two of boiling pasta water, then dress the whole thing with garlic, oil, lemon zest, and feta. Sometimes I give it a dash of crushed red pepper for a little zing.

    • Laurie says:

      Excellent idea Melissa! With kale, the zing of crushed red pepper is very tasty. If you haven’t tried Aleppo pepper before, you might give it a try. It’s spicy and a little fruity at the same time. Summit Spice on Benson/Denali carries it in Anchorage.

  4. Thanks for sharing this recipe. The tart is delicious and I can’t wait to have more of it.
    Baby kale!

  5. What state do you live in. I have been trying to find baby kale and am having a hard time. A restaurant in Sedona swerve Tuscan kale salad which is delicious and to die for. After coming home from vacation I have been trying to find baby kale bu can’t find it. I live in southern California.

  6. Laurie-I just saw it last week at Costco also and bought some. I love it and have already finished the bag. I also added it to lettuce salads and very briefly boiled it then drained and sautéed in lemon-infused olive oil and garlic. It’s so tender though that I don’t think I need to blanch it first. I also added it to a simple soup of leftover cubed pork tenderloin, black beans, corn , chili powder and cumin. A kind of chili with lots of healthy greens. And I added it along with a scrambled egg and salsa in a corn tortilla. Time to go to Costco for more!

    • Cindy, that sounds absolutely delicious! Black beans are my favorite, and I love the egg idea. I agree, the baby kale doesn’t need to be blanched.

  7. The baby kale is so versatile and I LOVE the sound of this tart!

  8. Oh wow, I’ll have to look today when I go to Costco. I wonder if we’ll be so lucky in Juneau… Are you making anything with spruce tips yet? I am anxiously watching them everyday for the right moment to harvest.

    • I have also been watching the spruce tips daily (and the devils club too!) in anchorage neither are quite ready yet. In Siutheast, I suspect the devils club are out. You might want to check. Happy Foraging!!

  9. I made this for dinner tonight. Delicious. Dan ate half the pie. I don’t usually use blue cheese as a baking cheese but it melted so nicely into the squash and kale. I think it is company worthy.

  10. Could someone tell me if baby kale is similar to kale? Thanks!

    • Hi Julia,
      Baby kale is immature kale. It is harvested shortly after it begins growing. Because it is harvested so young, it is more tender and has a milder flavor than fully grown kale. Baby kale can be eaten raw or cooked. It’s delicious! Laurie

  11. Does baby kale have the same nutrition as kale.

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