Labor Day weekend brought a number of culinary highs (the most delicious cherry tomatoes from Leaning Shed Farm) and lows (an epic fail in attempting to fry chicken without a crust – the skin just stuck to the bottom of the pan), but overall, it was pretty great. One thing love about the specialty market in my neighborhood is that, much like the outdoor farmer’s markets, they offer whatever is available seasonally (on top of what they always offer). This weekend, I found this beautiful baby kale:
It seemed to make sense to see it in reference to fully mature kale, so I took a side-by-side photo. Initially, I tried to eat it raw in a salad. It was good, but had a little too much bite to use as the only green – I think it would better mixed with some softer leaves of butter lettuce or arugula. Because I bought a healthy amount of it, I ended up dropping it into a big pot of ham and bean soup and it was perfect. I basically just mixed in the kale after the beans finished cooking and I took the pot off the heat – I didn’t want it to lose the vibrant green color. I love kale in soups, and this baby kale is perfect – it stays intact (unlike spinach), but isn’t cumbersome to eat (like mature kale can be).
Incidentally, on the same trip to the market, I found this gigantic shallot!