In her blog post last Wednesday my good friend and gardening mentor, Rachel Ziesk, shared this beautiful photo of part of her day’s gorgeous harvest.
|Photo by CT Advanced Master Gardener Rachel Ziesk|
Stacked up neatly on the far left is a variety of kale known as Red Russian, or Siberian.
Just by coincidence, earlier that same day I had been talked into purchasing a bunch of this variety at the downtown farmer’s market by my usual kale vendor from Waldingfield Farm.
He promised it was tender enough to “chomp” without cooking, stems and all.
I tried munching a piece as he had suggested but found the stems a bit much, so I cut them short before ripping up the leaves to use with my salad mix. We found the kale to be tender and flavorful, with a mild, sweet taste.
I am so glad to have discovered it. Just like other varieties, Russian Kale stores well in the fridge. A hardy crop, it does best in cool weather and should be available at the market well into the winter. The Seed Ambassadors site states that Russian Kale originated in Russia possibly before 1865, is improved by frost, and is hardy to -10°F.
Like its kale cousins, Red Russian is packed with vitamins and nutrients. It is thought to have particular benefits in helping to prevent age-related macular degeneration.
Most sources suggest that Russian kale is also rich in taste when steamed or stir-fried.
For tender kale, go Russian! Save stewing for the thicker-stemmed variety.
Have a great week. Eat well.
I often blog on food, food issues, or gardening on Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”