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Kale, along with many dark leafy greens, contains a high content of fiber, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K. Kale also contains a great deal of omega-3 fatty acids, though not as much as fish. Kale is available nearly year-round at farmers markets, with the exception of the height of summer.

Kale Soup (Caldo Verde)

4 tbsp olive oil    
1 onion, minced        
1 garlic clove, minced    
6 potatoes, peeled
2 quarts water
2 tsp salt
1 lb kale, chopped

1  Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in saucepan over medium heat.
2  Cook garlic & onions for 3 min. Add potatoes. 
3  Pour in water. Bring to a boil for 20 minutes.
4  Mash potatoes. Add salt. Simmer for 5 min.
5  Stir kale into soup. Simmer 5 min. more, until tender. 
6  Add remaining 1 tbsp olive oil. Serve warm.

Farm-Style Braised Kale

2 strips bacon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pound kale, stems removed, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch of allspice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 lemon

Sauté the bacon strips in a large skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels, crumble and reserve. Add the butter to the bacon drippings in the skillet. You can easily omit the bacon and just cook with a combination of oil and butter. Cook the onion over medium-low heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse the kale in cold water. Add the kale to the skillet, with just the water that clings to the leaves. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, the allspice, and the vinegar.
Sprinkle with the reserved bacon and garnish with lemon slices. 

Kale Pie

1 ten-inch store-bought pie crust, prebaked
4 cups coarsely chopped kale leaves, washed and drained
1 tablespoon olive or other vegetable oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup half-and-half
½ teaspoon salt

Prepare the pie crust and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the kale, stir to submerge the leaves, and cook over high heat until wilted and somewhat tender but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside to drip dry. Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan.  Add the onions and garlic and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently, until beginning to turn golden, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Break the eggs in a large bowl and lightly beat. Add the feta, half-and-half, kale, onion mixture, and salt. Stir to mix and pour into the prebaked crust. Bake until the center of the pie is firm and lightly golden across the top, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool 10 to 15 minutes. Serve while warm, or let cool longer and serve at room temperature.

Kale and Sausage Soup

1/3 cup olive oil
½ pound cooked sausage of your choosing, cut into bite size pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, ribbed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large bunch kale, stemmed, well washed, and coarsely chopped (8 cups packed)
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups chopped tomatoes, fresh or drained canned
½ cup rice
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, red pepper, jalapeño, and garlic, and cook them until they soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cook for 1 minute. A handful at a time, add the kale, stirring each addition and letting it wilt before adding another handful. Add the stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and partially cover the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add the rice and cook until it is tender, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, but use a light hand, because the sausage may have provided enough seasoning. Serve hot.

Polenta with Tuscan Kale

½ pound kale, preferably Tuscan, stems discarded, leaves well rinsed, and coarsely chopped (6 cups)
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for cooking the kale
1 cup instant polenta
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
¼ cup pine nuts, or other nuts of your choice
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the kale and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the kale is tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving 6 cups of the cooking liquid. Bring the reserved cooking liquid and 1 teaspoon to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Whisk the polenta and return to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook at a low boil, whisking often, until the polenta is tender, about 3 minutes. Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add the garlic and cook until barely golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer the cooked garlic into the pot along with the polenta. Add the kale, sun-dried tomatoes, and nuts. Return to low heat and stir until well combined. Serve hot, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and additional oil on the side.