Foodie Friday: Three Recipes for Kale Flowers

Our overwintered kale has already bolted, leaving us with flowers and buds on every single plant. This is what happens when it’s so rainy and cold we aren’t harvesting and giving away a ton! While bolting can cause leaves to be less tender and more bitter, the good news is that the kale flowers, buds and stems are actually really tasty – very similar to a broccoli raab! It’s also been such a delayed spring here in New England that the kale leaves are still tender. So by luck, we’ve got the best of both worlds … here are three ways the kale stems and buds are great to eat …

Sautéed with Garlic Butter:

Harvest stems with any small leaves, flowers and buds about six inches from bottom of buds. Put butter in a saucepan, melt, add and toss kale in butter. Cover for two minutes, add one small clove pressed garlic. Cook until stems tender and garlic loses some of its bite, but doesn’t get dark. Add salt to taste.

Sautéed with Olive Oil and Sweet Onion:

Harvest stems with any small leaves, flowers and buds about six inches from bottom of buds. Chop to 1” pieces. Chop small sweet onion. The thinner you cut it, the faster it will cook. Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and sauté until translucent (about 10 minutes). Add kale pieces and a pinch of red pepper flakes, salt to taste. Toss until largest stems extra tender. If you want to make this super easy, just sauté the kale in oil and salt!

Fresh and Raw:

Add olive oil, salt and pepper to stems cut into 1” pieces. Coat thoroughly. Let stand for at least one hour in fridge. The oil makes the stems much more tender over time. If you want, you can also add some lemon juice, or toss with a little sour cream or whole milk yogurt for a creamy, crispy salad.

One thing to note with all the above – you’re going to have to do some proportion adjusting on the fly! Most of the time you’re working with how much you happen to have when it comes to kale flowers, so most recipes will be to taste… Enjoy!