Essential ingredients of Spring Beer Kale. Image credit:all photos this post by J.Laumer
Only way to make this dish is if you or a good friend grow kale two years running. It's best with a local beer that's light on the hops.
The kale you see in the pan above was planted in the spring of 2010, harvested through July - at which point leaf-chewing bugs made it unappetizing - and let to resurrect after the snows of a Pennsylvania winter had melted. This semi-perennial aspect is key: the first pickings off a year old kale plant have none of that peculiar kale off-taste that some dislike and which is most prominent in the heat of summer. No bug holes either.Wash the leaves. Tear into thirds and place in plan. Add salt and a bunch of olive oil.
Pour half the beer on the Kale and half in your mouth; cover tightly, and cook for maybe 20 minutes - until the glistening green has about faded away. Definitely: stop cooking before it looks like canned spinach or canned kale.
Add more fresh-ground black pepper than a TV cook would advise and let it sit covered, until ready for dinner. Sometimes I add tomato slices half-way through.
Kelly makes kale pesto, which I bet would be especially good with last year's kale plant leaves.
Last spring's kale, resurrected.
The leaves you see in the pan were taken from one plant. There's probably enough for 5 or so additional meals on that short row. I'll soon harvest them and freeze, partly cooked, to spread the goodness over time.
Then I'll pull the plants out and put something else in their place (a rotation).
Off now to dinner.