Feature

Glorious kale recipes

Right now is the peak time of year for harvesting kale. Grant Howe, Head Chef from Dragonfly Café at Eden Gardens, shows us how to use tasty, fresh kale in five delicious recipes.

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SESAME AND TAMARIN ROASTED KALE CHIPS

Credit: Eden Gardens

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KALE, APPLE AND BANANA SMOOTHIE

Credit: Eden Gardens

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QUINOA WITH KALE, MUSHROOMS AND SWEET POTATOES

Credit: Eden Gardens

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If you're smart enough to have planted kale in your garden, you'll most likely be harvesting your crop now. Alternatively, if you're a regular visitor to your local farmers' market you will see kale for sale in abundance at this time of year. Grant Howe, Head Chef from Dragonfly Café at Eden Gardens, shows us how to use freshly harvested kale in these five tasty recipes.

SESAME AND TAMARIND ROASTED
KALE CHIPS

Serves 4 as a side or starter
Ingredients
• 500g kale
• 2 tsp tamarind paste
• 2 tsp sesame oil
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
2. Rinse the kale under cold running water and dry the leaves very well.
3. Cut out the centre stalks and then cut the kale into 5cm slices. Place the kale on a baking tray and drizzle with tamarind, sesame oil and olive oil.
4. Mix and ensure all kale leaves are covered, then sprinkle the sesame seeds over the kale and season with salt and pepper.
5. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until crisp at the edges.

KALE, APPLE AND BANANA SMOOTHIE

Serves 1. Total time: 5 minutes.
Ingredients
• ¾ cup Kale, stems discarded and leaves torn into small pieces
• 1 stalk celery, chopped
• ½ banana
• 2 apples, freshly juiced
• ½ cup ice
• 1 tbsp lemon juice (preferably fresh)
• fresh mint

Method
1. Place the kale, celery, banana, apple juice, ice and lemon juice in a blender.
2. Blend until smooth and frothy.

QUINOA WITH KALE, MUSHROOMS AND SWEET POTATOES

Serves 4. Total time: 30 minutes.
Ingredients
• 1 cup quinoa (preferably red quinoa)
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces (size of 20 cent coin)
• 300g button mushrooms, quartered
• 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 1 bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves torn into small pieces
• ¾ cup dry white wine
• ¼ cup grated fresh parmesan

Method
1. Place the quinoa and 2 cups water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until water is absorbed (12 to 15 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
3. Add the sweet potatoes and mushrooms and sauté, tossing occasionally, until golden and beginning to soften (5 to 6 minutes).
4. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute.
5. Then add the kale, wine, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender (10 to 12 minutes).
6. Serve the vegetables over the quinoa and sprinkle with fresh parmesan.

ROASTED KALE, PEPPERS AND KALAMATA OLIVES

Serves 8. Total time: 25 minutes.
Ingredients
• 2 large bunches kale, stems discarded and leaves torn into small pieces
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 2 tsp raw sugar (or 1 tbsp dark agave nectar)
• 12 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
• 1 red pepper, cleaned and roasted
• 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 tsp salt

Method
1. Rinse the kale under cold running water and dry the leaves very well.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large stockpot on a medium-high heat and sauté the garlic. Remove the garlic as soon as it browns (don't let it burn).
3. Add the kale and cook for 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup water, cover, and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Uncover and add the sugar, salt, olives and red pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until the liquid has evaporated.
4. Spoon into a serving dish; scatter the garlic over the top. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Serve warm or at room temperature. Add salt and pepper to taste.

KALE AND WHITE BEAN SOUP

Serves 8. Total time: 30 minutes.
Ingredients
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 4 cloves garlic, chopped
• 2 stalks celery, sliced
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 500g white haricot or cannellini beans, rinsed, soaked overnight and cooked
• 1 cup Risoni pasta (or other preferred soup pasta)
• 1 bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves torn into small pieces
• 2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
• ½ cup shaved fresh parmesan
• 1tbsp lemon juice (preferably fresh)

Method
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add the garlic, celery, onion, and salt and pepper to taste then cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (4 to 6 minutes).
3. Add the beans, pasta, kale, rosemary and 8 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer until the pasta and kale are tender (4 to 5 minutes).
5. Stir in the lemon juice and shaved parmesan before serving.
6. Serve with fresh sourdough bread.

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During Grant Howe’s varied cooking experiences (from top New Zealand establishments, to Head Chef at Wildfire in Sydney, to Executive Sous Chef at the luxurious Hayman Island resort), he has always enjoyed gardening and is a true advocate for organic cooking using home grown ingredients. He has integrated his soil to plate philosophy to help build Eden’s own Kitchen Garden, and he personally develops exciting new culinary meals for the Dragonfly Café at Eden Gardens each season. His creations are made with the freshest, hand-picked, seasonal ingredients.