CSA shares - Week 3! Red Russian Kale and Napa Cabbage

Yippy! We are onto Week 3 of CSA harvests. Broccoli, green onions, beets, radishes, butterhead lettuce, napa cabbage, red Russian kale, and heirloom watermelon will be brightening up our members´ kitchens this week. edible winter 2011

RED RUSSIAN KALE is mild and juicy, sweeter than other kales. It has oak type leaves have a red tinge and stems are a purplish-red. One of our favorite kales. Great flavor.

Cooking not only tenderizes the tough parts of the leaf, but it also brings to the surface a surprising sweetness you might not have expected was there. The longer and slower you cook it, the sweeter it seems to get. To prepare Russian Red: strip out the mature stems, no amount of cooking will soften them. Hold the lower leaf base up in one hand and pull the stem downward with the other. Simply strip away the leaf. Be sure to wash and disinfect the leaf pieces.

Cooking tips:

Blanch kale in salted water, drain then sauté in olive or nut oil, butter, bacon, or pancetta. You can season with olives, garlic, chilli, cumin, caraway, fennel, anise, or toasted sesame oil. If you want a stronger flavor, braise Russian Red in stock. Cook until tender, but remember this kale is not going to melt in your mouth like curly kale.

This is a recipe with kale we like:

kale and chorizo broth

napa cabbage

NAPA CABBAGE is one of the popular leafy-cabbage vegetables of mainland China. Napa’s sweet, crunchy, and celery-flavored leaves are one of the most sought-after ingredients in the oriental cuisine. Botanically this Chinese cabbage variety belongs to the Brassica family; a large class of leafy/flower-head vegetables, which also include brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and broccoli. The plant grows to oblong shaped head consisting of tightly arranged crinkly, thick, light-green leaves with white prominent veins. Innermost layer leaves feature light yellow color.

Here is some nutritional information about Napa cabbage that you may not know:

  • It is crazy low in calories: 100 g of fresh leaves contains only 16 calories!
  • Napa is packed with many antioxidant plant compounds such as carotenes, thiocyanates, indole-3-carbinol, lutein, zea-xanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates. Also it is a great source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre.
  • Fresh napa is an excellent source of folates. 100 g provides 79 µg or 20% of daily required levels of this B-complex vitamin.
  • It has high levels of vitamin C. 100 g of fresh vegetable provides about 45% of daily requirements of this vitamin.
  • As well as vitamin K, providing about 38% of RDA levels.
  • Last, but not least, it is natural source of electrolytes and minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, iron and magnesium.

As you can see, Napa cabbage is really good for you (and it tastes great!)

When life gives you cabbage, you make sauerkraut — and homemade sauerkraut is a world apart from the stuff that comes from the grocery store. That’s what they say in this next link for easy, quick, homemade sauerkraut in a mason jar:



If sauerkraut isn’t your thing, give the following recipe from ahouseinthehills.com a try:

Napa cabbage rolls2

Feeling hungry? ;)