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Bundles of these greens show up in market stalls in October. Our food director, Lucinda Scala Quinn, recommends snapping up a bunch. "I like its sweet, earthy, almost nutty flavor," Lucinda says. "It has great texture but is tender too." Also known as Toscana, dinosaur, or lacinato kale, it is low in calories; full of vitamins A, B, and C; and loaded with anticancer compounds called sulforaphanes. It's also incredibly versatile. "Sauteed, it can get crunchy or caramelized; in soup, it takes on the broth's flavor," Lucinda says. "You can even eat it raw, thanks to its sweetness." In short: If you haven't tried Tuscan kale, it's time to turn over a new leaf.

Buying It

Tuscan kale is best in the fall. Seek out bunches with dark green, blemish-free leaves.

Storing It

Kale seems sturdy but wilts quickly. Store it loosely in a plastic bag in the coldest part of the fridge for up to three days.

Preparing It

Textured leaves are magnets for dirt. To clean kale, swish it in a bowl of cold water, rinse, and repeat with fresh water until leaves are grit-free. Pull or cut out tough stems.

Saute it with Sausages

Brown split sausages (such as linguica or chorizo) in a skillet. Add 2 garlic cloves, a pinch of red-pepper flakes, and some olive oil; saute for 30 seconds. Add 1 bunch washed kale (still wet); cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt.

Shred it for a Salad

Cut kale crosswise into shreds. Toss with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Top with shaved parmesan cheese.

Simmer it in a Soup

Cut kale into 2-by-3-inch pieces. Stir into simmering vegetable or bean soup. Cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

Comments (2)

Anonymous
October 2, 2011
Thank you for this information. I am always looking for new types of greens to try at home. It is helpful that you gave me many options in ways to prepare the kale. Love watching Mad Hungry!
Anonymous
October 2, 2011
Thank you for this information. I am always looking for new types of greens to try at home. It is helpful that you gave me many options in ways to prepare the kale. Love watching Mad Hungry!