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Old February 11, 2016   #1
ChristinaJo
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Default What's your fav Kale?

Wondering which one to plant.....
Just want to know what others like since it's "new" to me and I'm trying to be healthier.
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Old February 11, 2016   #2
rxkeith
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up in the great white north, we like red russian, and siberian type kale. they look nice, and taste good. plants can get large. keep picking the leaves, and they will keep growing. very hardy plants. not sure how they will handle texas heat.

lacinato is a decent one.

i have also grown curled vates, might be scotch curled vates. smaller plant with very crinkly leaves.


grow more than one variety, and compare which ones you like best, or do best in your area. they are all good eating.


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Old February 11, 2016   #3
Father'sDaughter
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I only grow Dwarf Siberian and Lacinato. I've found the Dwarf Siberian to be a lot more tender than some of the other varieties, and the Lacinato is my kale of voice for salads.
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Old February 11, 2016   #4
AlittleSalt
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Christina, I've seen all kinds of kale in many different colors, but have only eaten one type. It is the green kale sold at the local grocery store. I know this isn't an answer to your question, but I hope this gives you a few ideas.

Kale can be cooked in any way you would cook most greens. You can eat it raw and add it to salads. I've seen kale that is red, purple, white, and multi-colored - looks good in a salad.

Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana is so easy and cheap to make at home. The star of the dish is the kale that you throw in at the last few minutes.

As one Texas gardener to another, I have found that growing mustard greens and spinach are very easy to grow here. Turnip and beet greens grow like weeds here too. Just don't plant them in shaded areas.

I wish I could help on your question - I haven't had any good luck growing kale myself.
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Old February 12, 2016   #5
kath
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I like the taste, texture and growth habit of Lacinato, or Dinosaur kale, and use it both cooked and raw. I don't love kale, but it's supposed to be 'good for me' so I try to incorporate it into salads, soups & stews as often as possible. Depending on how much room you have, some seed suppliers sell an assortment pack so you could try all different kinds and see which ones will do well for you in TX.

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Old February 12, 2016   #6
NarnianGarden
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I haven't tasted too many varieties, but I much prefer the Red Russian to the 'curly' one. RR has soft and beutiful leaves that are excellent in salads, and do not require sauteeing / cooking. The common, curly type is no doubt just as healthy, but it is too chewy when eaten raw and not nearly as tasty.
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Old February 12, 2016   #7
barefootgardener
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I love Nero Di Toscana and Red Russian. I had a few plant's outside in my garden, and here are a few in my GH. They were planted from seed, and then transplanted in late spring. They produced all summer and well past fall into mid winter since we had a mild December. I picked the leaves young, which are more tender, and tasty, and used in stir fry, soups, salads and smoothies. Also stir fried in olive oil and garlic, (sometimes with bacon) or steamed along with some wild rice. I toss a few chopped leaves in scrambled eggs and sauté some for putting into omlette's.. I used the leaves in everything.. When the leaves were larger I still used them, but they took a bit longer too cook till tender. The plant's grew over three feet tall. One plant just keeps producing..The stalk was extremely thick. They finally kicked the bucket in January after a few day's of freezing temperatures.

PS: I always grow a few extra to give to our chickens and pigs to snack on. They love kale.

Ginny

I agree with Robert, Throw some chopped leaves of Nero De Toscana, in with your own version of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana soup, it is delish!!

Last edited by barefootgardener; February 12, 2016 at 03:07 PM.
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Old February 12, 2016   #8
Worth1
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Can someone tell me what the deal is with kale and all the latest hoopla is about it?
I have had this stuff on my plate before in restaurants and it tastes like wet cardboard and is as tough as boot.
I would be happier if they put raw hot curly leaf mustard greens on the plate.

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Old February 12, 2016   #9
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My favorite has been a perennial kale (aka tree collards) that gets a purple tinge and sweeter taste after it's hit by frost. But it doesn't do well with much lower temps -- when it got down to 26F one winter, my older plant wilted. I took out my kale forests at 2 community gardens last year because all the brassicas were being hit hard by a new kind of stink bug (bagrada bug). And the one I had growing at home became the favorite snack bar for the green caterpillars of the white cabbage moth, and then when it partially recovered, a squirrel ate some every day until only bare stems were left. Anyway, I still have some cuttings growing in the greenhouse, but I don't know where I can plant them!

I like the perennial kale because of the relatively sweet flavor and the flat leaves, which are less appealing to aphids. The first couple years I grew it, no bugs bothered it at all. It was also very prolific. I would pick a grocery-size bag at a time, then cook it and eat kale every day for a week, or freeze some. Occasionally good for a garden snack, but at its best cooked, especially with peanut sauce.
Didn't work for kale "chips." The leaves are sturdy enough to sub for grape leaves in dolmas!

Second choice is other flattish varieties, particularly Red Russian and White Russian. Those are both great as raw kales, and they cook down to almost nothing.
All the kales get a sweeter, less mustardy bite when frost hits, but these varieties are pretty mild even in the warm season, especially as baby greens.

I had seeds last fall when I was rushing to start my winter garden, so I'm also growing Lacinato/Black/Tuscan. The aphids tend to cozy into the leaf indents, so it gets a little gross as spring approaches. At that point, I wait for the lady beetles to show up. Within a couple days, all the aphids are gone and I can eat kale again. It's tender enough to eat raw, but because of all the aphid niches, I tend to wash it first, and once it's in the house, it ends up being cooked rather than eaten raw.
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Old February 12, 2016   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
Can someone tell me what the deal is with kale and all the latest hoopla is about it?...
One of my favorite foods is perennial kale with peanut sauce. It's always a hit when I bring it to potlucks, and I get asked for the recipe often.

If you like mustard greens better, then eat mustard greens!

The nutritional hoopla is about eating dark leafy greens, AND eating brassicas, daily.
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Old February 12, 2016   #11
Worth1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat_gardener View Post
One of my favorite foods is perennial kale with peanut sauce. It's always a hit when I bring it to potlucks, and I get asked for the recipe often.

If you like mustard greens better, then eat mustard greens!

The nutritional hoopla is about eating dark leafy greens, AND eating brassicas, daily.
I know about the nutrition and all but some time ago they started putting what I think was raw kale on plates to pretty it up.
I tried a peace and it was hard and tasteless.

Your talking to a guy that has always since a child and still eats cabbage hearts raw as a snack when I am cutting it up.

I was the family human goat of the house and would eat a whole apple seeds and all and only the stem would be left.

Worth

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Old February 12, 2016   #12
habitat_gardener
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
I know about the nutrition and all but some time ago they started putting what I think was raw kale on plates to pretty it up.
I tried a peace and it was hard and tasteless....
Ha-- garnishes! Kales are pretty, and at restaurants, it seems they use a lot of stuff to make the plates pretty that most people don't eat. There's a Thai restaurant that puts lettuce leaves on the plate before putting the cutty in the bowl, then some long thin carrot slivers and other decorative vegetables, and often an orchid flower. My friends and I always eat the garnishes! The last time we were there, the efficient wait staff kept trying to take our plates before we had eaten all the garnishes.
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Old February 12, 2016   #13
NarnianGarden
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Yes, that Nero is beautiful... ! I have seen it in grocery stores, but never grabbed any for myself...
One day hopefully. Or perhaps I can get a couple of seeds and grow it on my mom's patch... (which already is spoken for ...)
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Old February 12, 2016   #14
NarnianGarden
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Worth, very thinly shredded and chopped Red Russian (or any 'flat' kale) is excellent in salads, not too cardboard-y
I actually much prefer something substantial in green salads, the usual lettuce varieties are just plain water and get mushy... and taste like nothing
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Old February 12, 2016   #15
kath
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BTW, Nero Di Toscana is the same as Lacinato & Dinosaur kale. Great photo, barefoot gardener!

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