Cooking Kale and Swiss Chard

Kale can be eaten raw in salads or blended in a smoothie, or sautéed with olive oil.
It is so versatile and can be combined with many ingredients to create extremely nutritious and delicious dishes.

Kale is best eaten raw when it is young and tender, fresh from the farm.
Preparing kale: rinse, drain and chop; remove the spine by folding the entire leaf and tear or cut the thick, middle stem. Then tear or cut the remaining leaves. You can slice into “ribbons” for a salad or to add to soup or greens, or chop into 2 inch pieces to cook til tender.

To tenderize tougher, older kale, submerge into pot of boiling, lightly salted water. Stir kale, let come to boil, cover, keeping partially uncovered to allow steam to escape; cook for 3-4 minute, stirring periodically. Taste after 3 minutes; remove from heat when tender but still has a bit of texture. Strain + cool. This can be eaten as is with olive oil or sauté onion + garlic in olive oil and add chopped kale; cook another 3-4 minutes.

You can keep this prepared kale in your refrigerator all week; add to soups, pasta, cooked beans, rice, cooked potatoes, vegetables, your choice! Other ideas: puree kale and add to macaroni and cheese. Braised Beans and Kale recipe follows.
Swiss Chard is also extremely versatile and can be prepared identically to kale, with less cooking time and less attention to trimming stems. Almost the entire leaf is edible; trim very tips of chard which can be tough. Remaining part of the leaf and stem will cook nicely.

Kale Apple Smoothie
4 servings


  • 3 cups chopped kale, ribs and thick stems removed
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • Place the kale, celery, banana, juice, ice, and lemon juice in a blender.
  • Blend until smooth and frothy. Key to this smoothie is to blend very well!

Braised Beans + Kale with Tomatoes: 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds kale, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups Braised Beans, recipe follows**
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Braised Beans:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Medium onion chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 stalk of celery chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ pound beans, pre-soaked overnight
  • 4 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat and when hot, add the bay leaf, garlic and crushed red pepper. Sauté until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and the tomatoes and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to break down and become saucy. Add the kale and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the beans, cover and cook until the kale is wilted and cooked through, about 20 minutes. To serve, transfer to serving dish and drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil if desired.

Braised Beans:
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat; when hot add the olive oil, onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, until vegetables begin to caramelize. Add the crushed red pepper, beans and stock or water and cook at a slow simmer, covered for 1 ½ hours or until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste towards the end of cooking. You may substitute 2 cans of cooked beans in place of dried beans; cooking time reduced to 20-25 minutes.

News from the farm August 8 + Carrot-Lemon Smoothy Recipe

Your colorful share this week

  • carrots
  • onions (Mon)
  • scallions (Thurs)
  • garlic
  • cherry tomatoes
  • Choice bags of squash, cukes, eggplant, tomatoes
  • cantaloupe

Please join us for a Boulder Knoll Community Farm (weed*) Pulling Party

Saturday 12 noon – 4 p.m.

All you need to bring is your enthusiasm, ability to pull and perhaps a tool and a pair of gloves. (Heavy duty weed whackers are welcome, too.) We will supply the weeds, drink and snacks. We will all get the satisfaction of knowing the farm is healthier, neater and we are getting a head start on next year’s unwanted weeds. Any amount of time you can party will be fine.

* The weeds are going to seed, getting overgrown and encroaching on our healthy crops!

A great carrot – lemon smoothy drink!

  • 1 lb carrots peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups pineapple and/or unsweetened white grape juice (we used diluted cranberry juice)
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Water
  • Ice
  • Lemon wedges (Brenda thinks some mint leaves would be a nice touch)
  1. Combine carrots and water in medium sauce pan. Simmer 30 min. Or until very tender. Cool slightly. (important to cool before putting in blender because cooling prevents steam from building up and hot liquid spilling over top of blender) Transfer cooled mixture to blender. Add one cup of pineapple juice. Cover and blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer blended mixture to pitcher. Stir in remaining pineapple and lemon juice. Cool in refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours. Mixture may thicken. If you’d like, add one to two cups of water to reach desired consistency.
  3. Serve over ice with lemon wedges. Store refrigerated for up to one week.

Also try freezing into individual freeze pops for a delicious, healthy frozen treat!

Quick Braised Snow Peas and Radishes

From the Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health Cookbook


  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Vegetable Oil
  • ½ Pound Snow Peas (or Sugar Snap Peas) Ends and Strings Removed
  • ¾ Cup Very Finely Sliced Radishes


Grate the orange peel for about ½ teaspoon zest. Set aside. Squeeze the orange for about 1/3 cup strained juice. Whisk the mustard and salt into the orange juice. Warm the oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the snow peas (or sugar snap peas) and radishes and stir for a minute. Add the orange juice, cover, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the snow peas are bright green and crisp-tender. Sir in the orange zest.

Recipes for the week of 9/28/09


  • Potato salad with raw greens:
    Everyone has loved this salad when I’ve made it.)
    Potatoes, cooked until tender and cut into cubes
    Onion, chopped
    Carrots, peppers, parsley, dill chopped – add or omit to your taste
    Hard boiled egg if you like
    Kale, chard, spinach, tat soi, or other greens, chopped pretty finely
    Dressing – mayo (Vegannaise made from grapeseed oil is great!), lemon or lime juice, a little water –  Whisk together and pour over the veggies.

    Let the mixture set for a bit before serving so the greens wilt and flavors meld.

Recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes

B,L &  (Fried Green) T
Fry ½ lb of bacon  – remove from pan  – save the grease.
Slice green tomatoes and dredge in corn muffin mix.
Fry the coated tomatoes in the bacon grease until golden brown.
Construct the B.L.& (fried green) T on your favorite bread.

From the Whistle Stop Café: Fried Green Tomatoes

3-4 green tomatoes
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 tsp salt & pepper
Vegetable oil

Mix together flour, cornmeal, salt & pepper. Add enough milk to create a thick batter. Heat 2 inches of oil in a large skillet. Batter each tomato slice, and wipe off excess. Carefully place in hot oil, browning on both sides. (may or may not need turning, depending on the amount of oil) To cool, drain in a colander to keep tomatoes from becoming soggy. Salt to taste.

Recipes for the week of 8/16/09

Summer squash with tomatoes and corn

(This always gets rave reviews. It’s a little soupy, so I use less milk. It freezes fine – what a treat in the winter.)
Preheat oven to 350

3 T oil or butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large or 2 small summer squash, unpeeled and thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, cored and cut in chunks
kernels cut from 2 ears of corn
1 tsp fresh mint, chopped
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1 c milk or light cream
1 tsp chili powder
3 oz. cream cheese, diced (or grated cheddar)

1. In a skillet or heavy casserole, heat oil and saute onion and garlic briefly.
2. Add squash, tomatoes and corn, and toss to coat pieces. Stir in the mint, coriander and salt.
Cover pan and simmer about 15 or 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender
Transfer to a casserole dish.
3. Add the milk and bake at 350 in covered casserole for another 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Mix in the chili powder and top with the cheese. Return to oven to partially melt cheese.



1 3/4 pounds kale, large stems discarded (3/4 pound leaves)
2 whole-wheat pita breads
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup pitted Calamata olives, cut lengthwise into slivers
2 ounces feta cheese, preferably French, crumbled (2/3 cup)

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the kale leaves until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Transfer the kale to a clean kitchen towel and squeeze dry. Fluff up the leaves, coarsely chop them and transfer to a large bowl.

Brush both sides of the pita breads with olive oil and bake for about 8 minutes, or until crisp. Cut the pita into wedges.

In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup of olive oil with the lemon juice and crushed red pepper and season with salt and pepper. Add the grape tomatoes, olives and crumbled feta to the kale and toss. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Serve the kale salad with the toasted pita wedges.

News from Boulder Knoll Community Farm – Week of 7/20/09

Hi everybody,

I’m having a lot of fun growing food for all of you. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing.

The rain and coolness has slowed the growth of the summer veggies (squash, peppers, tomatoes) a bit, but as of now no serious disease problems have shown up. We’ve been very lucky.

Monday folks got lettuce, parsley, potatoes, radishes or sumac berries (for a yummy lemony tea), beets, carrots, squash or tomatillos, haricots vertes, and pick your own herbs. Thursday sharers will probably get roughly the same.

Thanks to all who have come to the farm to help with weeding, tomato caging, planting, trellising, harvesting, digging, prepping, supervising, teaching, painting, mowing, compost turning, bring iced coffee, laughing, etc. etc. Please, if possible, pitch in sometime for a harvest. It’s fun and we really need the help. We start at 830 am. With 3 or 4 people the harvest takes 2+ hours and the prep (bunching, rinsing, and sorting) follows. Remember to let Liz know when you can work and when you did work so she can log it.

I am planning to be away on vacation during the first week of August. Several members have agreed to manage the harvest. It will be important for them to have enough help. Please let me and Liz know if you can help the CSA with the harvest or if you can go over and check on things any other morning that week.

Youth from the Waterbury Police Athletic League Workforce program have been out to the farm to learn and work for several weeks now. It’s a great program and we’ll be happy to be asked to participate again next year. Thanks to those members who have come out (Fellis Jordan and Bob Behrer) to be with the group as they learn to dig in the soil, plant and taste new veggies.

Here are a few more ideas for greens:

Alice’s Tuscan Beans and Greens
From Ox Hollow Farm,

Serves 2-3 as a main dish – 30 min. cooking time – a family favorite!

  • 3-4 oz bacon (preferably all-natural),
  • Diced 2T extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 8 – 10 garlic cloves, peeled, cut in thirds
  • 1-2 shallots, sliced ½ tsp.
  • Herbes de Provence
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • About ½ cup canned chicken stock
  • Very large bunch of washed greens — enough to fill a large salad spinner (kale, chard, spinach, escarole, mustard greens); big ribs and stems removed, roughly sliced
  • Aged balsamic vinegar and salt to taste

Oops they didn’t include any other instructions – check Jeff Rapoport’s printed recipe for appropriate cooking directions.

Kale Soup (a simple favorite in my household)
From Walter Greist at Mill River Valley Gardens

  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 lg chopped onion
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 6 c. veggie stock
  • 2 c. pureed tomatoes
  • 1 bunch shredded kale
  • 1 can cannellini beans (or other large beans)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt, pepper, herbs to taste (maybe try summer savory, rosemary, thyme, parsley, oregano, mint from our herb garden)

Saute garlic and onion until translucent. Add veggie stock, tomatoes and drained beans. Heat to boiling. Add kale and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese on top.

Another great use for kale

Chop it up and add it raw to your favorite potato salad recipe. The mayo or other dressing will wilt and tenderize it. It’s really delicious.

See you at the farm,