Danny adores Brussels sprouts. He’s always buying little packs of them and squirreling them into the fridge. Then I have to eat them. And I don’t like them apart from creamed sprouts which are a bit figure challenging.
So I decided to grow some Bedford Fillbasket this year. Surely they’d be better than the commercially grown ones? They look great too, tall and statuesque. Inca walks between them and disappears in the mini forest.
I plucked the first sprouts a couple of days ago and they were tasty. Much sweeter and crisper than the ones in packs. In fact I even asked for more.
The kale experience was a different story. Having expected these to be good we munched in shocked silence. I harvested two varieties. A pretty curly kale – Frosty – which was fine with a delicate flavour. The offending beast was a dark green bobbly kale (Black Tuscany) -bitter and leathery and reminiscent of eating a handful of old bay leaves. I’d removed the stalks and simmered it for over 10 minutes.
I woke at 4 am and thought of our rows of beautiful kale plants. In Italy these are often grown in herbaceous borders. In the end would ours just be ornamental after all? As we have a lot of Black Tuscany plants to chomp through this winter I fired up the laptop to look for an answer.
I discovered that kale gets sweeter after the first frosts (someone even suggested that putting it in the freezer overnight to simulate this process). Kale also needs to be eaten really fresh as it gets more bitter the older it is. Ours had been picked and cooked within minutes. By 5am I’d seen videos on sautéing kale, making kale chips, incorporating kale into numerous recipes but still wasn’t convinced.
Does anyone out there have suggestions for making kale a bit more palatable? Or is Black Tuscany just a particularly bitter variety.
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