Red Russian Kale
Inventory, bunch : 0
Red Russian kale grows in a large loose rosette shape that ranges from .3-.5 meters tall. This variety is easily recognized by its richly colored burgundy stems and purple tinted leaves. They are flat and toothed like an oak leaf with an overall dark green color and deep red veins. Red Russian kale offers a mild nutty flavor that is slightly sweet and earthy with a hearty texture. When choosing Red Russian kale look for fresh, bright, firm leaves.
Red Russian kale is available year-round with peak season during fall, winter and early spring.
Red Russian kale or Ragged Jack kale is a subspecies of Brassica oleracea, a cousin to other decorative cabbages and kales. It is a cool weather vegetable that produces more vibrantly colored leaves as the temperature drops. Red Russian kale is an heirloom variety that is grown as a biennial in most climates. Until the end of the Middle Ages, kale was one of the most common green vegetables in all of Europe. It has since become a commonly grown crop world-wide, valued for its rich nutrient supply.
An excellent source of vitamin C, Red Russian kale provides iron, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, potassium, protein, carbohydrates and dietary fiber. One half cup of chopped boiled kale contains about 18 calories.
No amount of cooking will soften the stems so it is best to use only the leaves. This meaty green compliments rich complex flavors such as grilled pork, pancetta, sausage, garlic, chiles, onions, thyme and caraway. Sautee or braise the mature leaves, or use the new sprouts raw in salads.
In Scotland, kale provided such substantial part of the traditional diet that the word became synonymous with food in some Scottish dialects. To be "off one's kail" is to feel too ill to eat. In the north-western German towns of Bremen and Oldenburg it is customary to hold a "Grünkohlfahrt" ("kale tour") each January. This involves visiting a country inn to consume large quantities of kale, sausage and schnapps, and even announce a local celebrity as "kale king".
Red Russian kale originated in Siberia prior to 1885 and is considered an heirloom variety. Red Russian kale thrives in moist, well-drained soils with full sun where temperatures do not exceed 80 degrees F.
Recipes that include Red Russian Kale. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Served From Scratch||Garlic Kale|
|SolLuna||Hearty Lentil and Kale Soup|