raw kaleGreen curly dwarf kale is a late season staple in my allotment. I should clarify: it’s the kale that is green curly and small and there is, sadly, no green curly dwarf so honoured as to have a kale named after him. Anyway, it’s a goodun – hardy, easy to grow, prolific, tasty, nutritious.

Just one problem. Caterpillars. And not caterpillars like those the poor broccoli suffers. With those beasties, at least you know you’ve got them, eating, as they do, everything and leaving your broccoli a stumpy skeleton. Oh no. Kale caterpillars (I really feel it should be Kale Katerpillars, don’t you?) are stealthy little buggers. To begin with, they’re kale coloured. Plus, they hide themselves in the curly edges of the kale and surreptitiously venture out, under cover of darkness no doubt, to nibble at the young leaves before retreating to their hiding place until the next raid. Upshot is – they’re virtually impossible to spot, even when cleaning the freshly picked leaves.

But it’s ok because they are quite obvious once the kale is cooked and on the plate…

Mostly because they turn white when cooked. Anyway, they pick off easily when cooked, and the g&g household seems to have survived this method during the recent kale glut. Here’s what I did with the kale and caterpillar glut:

Kale with Chorizo and Poached Eggkale and poached egg

  • Large handful of kale per person
  • 2 eggs per person
  • 1 cooking chorizo sausage per person

Cut the chorizo into small chunks and fry until crispy. Strain off any excess fat and set aside.

Next get the eggs poaching. I like this method.

Meanwhile, wash the kale, remove the stalk and chop roughly. Heat a couple of tablespoons of water and a knob of butter in a frying pan. Once boiling add the kale and boil/fry until wilted and soft. Keep it moving so it doesn’t burn and season as you go.

Mix the chorizo with the kale and serve with the eggs popped on top of the greens.

Pond Water Shot

kale juiceA bit like the beetroot juice I made in this recent blog. Only this version is even more virtuous. I won’t pretend it’s moreish, but my golly it tastes really really healthy. Perfect for a cold autumn morning after the night before.

  • Handful kale (roughly 15 leaves)
  • 2 apples
  • 1 inch Ginger

Wash everything, including the caterpillars. Roughly chop it all and whiz it to a pulp in a food processor. Tip the mix into a sieve and leave to drip for 30 minutes.

Serve the collected juice in shot glasses. You won’t be able to drink more than this.

To rectify such outrageous healthiness, you should follow your kale shot with a sustaining stir fry. And crispy seaweed/kale is the perfect accompaniment. Shred the kale into very fine, small strips and toss in sunflower oil and salt. Lay a think layer of kale out on a baking tray lined with baco-glide and roast in a hot oven (200 degrees ish) for 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it, there are but seconds between pleasingly crispy and charred.