Kale Lacinato

Kale Lacinato

This member of the cruciferous vegetable family boasts unsurpassed health benefits. 

A winter vegetable, kale lacinato has long, dark blue-green leaves, and is a little sweeter and less pungent than the more familiar curly kale. Early in the season, the tender leaves of this Italian varietal are best enjoyed cooked quickly, sautéed or steamed. You can also serve them raw, in salads. The larger leaves further into the season taste best when cooked for longer periods of time—it’s traditionally used in the classic Tuscan soup, ribolitta, which the Italians leave to sit for a day to allow its flavours to develop. 

Like other varieties of kale, kale lacinato is especially rich in glucosinolates which, when ingested and digested, can be converted by the body into cancer preventive compounds. It also has nearly twice the amount of vitamin K that most cruciferous vegetables have (vitamin K helps blood to clot and contributes to bone health). And in addition to vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese, cavolo nero also provides us with an extensive range of lesser known flavonoids, including kaempferol and quercetin; many of which function both as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. 

When buying kale lacinato, pick leaves that are firm, not wilted or bruised. They should look rich and vibrant. Smaller leaves will be tender and milder flavoured. Store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for no more than a few days.

Organic kale lacinato is available at SuperNature Forum and online.