Kale: How to grow, buy and prepare this hardy leafy green

Story and Photos by Grace Dickinson KALE IS FINALLY GETTING the spotlight it deserves. No longer just a garnish, the leafy green is now an A-list celebrity in the vegetable world, and everyone wants a leaf of it. 

For the food bloggers, kale is the addition that sends their mac and cheese to the top of the search engine charts. For President Obama, it’s the garden-sourced salad gracing his Thanksgiving table. For the health conscious it’s a crispy baked alternative to the potato chip. And for local chefs, like Citron and Rose’s Yehuda Sichel (see p. 11), it’s more than a side dish, starring in salads and stews, or as a replacement for parsley in tabbouleh.

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Food: Winter Greens

In the summer, eating local is easy. Farmers’ markets abound, featuring mounds of beautiful, colorful produce. In the winter, there are potatoes, sweet potatoes, and a rotating cast of root vegetables that require a bit more work than the kiss of the grill and a splash of olive oil. Fortunately, there are a few green things hardy enough for the long slog through winter—kale, collard greens, chard and spinach among them. These winter staples are essential for providing that I’ve-eaten-my-vegetables satisfaction, and are some of the healthiest things around.

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