What is it?
Curly kale is a member of the brassica family (cabbage, Brussels sprouts etc). This bargain superfood is very nutritious, with high levels of Vitamin A, K and C as well as minerals such as calcium, iron and manganese.
When is it in season?
It is a particularly useful winter vegetable as it's in season September to March.
Are there other types?
Other varieties include the trendy Italian cavalo nero (black kale) or red Russian kale - though our picture here is of the good old UK variety!
Buying and storing
Make sure that the leaves are fresh and crisp, with no sign of yellowing, bruising or slime! Store in the fridge or other cool place, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag and eat within a couple of days.
How to prepare.
There are two methods.
- Cut away the tough central ribs of curly kale before you chop or shred the leaves.
- Shred horizontally but in very fine strips so that you keep the ribs but they are in very small pieces - this is usually how they are sold in supermarket ready-packs.
How to cook.
Curly kale is best steamed or stir-fried, though it can also be cooked in the oven as part of a larger dish, such as our Tofu Frittata. It's particularly good stir-fried with lightly fried garlic and a dash of soya sauce such as shoyu or tamari added at the end. It goes well in soups, pasta sauces, bean dishes and mash.