Roasted Kale, Four Ways
It should be around this time that I begin to crave green. The holidays are over. We’ve experienced more than one substantial snow event. I haven’t eaten a green bean in three months, an asparagus spear in seven. Unfortunately, though, this wanting began some time earlier. I’ve been itching for a fix of green that’s not broccoli, cabbage, or Brussels sprouts—because whose stomach can really handle mass quantities of those, as delicious as they may be? Certainly not my little fire pit. I want green that’s not greens—I’m not looking for leaves. I want fresh and delicate produce when I feel neither fresh nor delicate. I want quick-cooking when I’m slow. I want summer in winter. And, as in most aspects of my life, I want something I can’t have.
But I’m getting along with my beloved roots. Rugged and long-lasting, they’re versatile and their colors match those of the hidden sun, the long-lost rainbows. They’re earthy-tasting reminders of the ground from which they came that is typically covered this time of year by all that is winter. As for that green I crave, I’m getting most of it from, well, a green: kale. But kale is different to me than chard or spinach. Kale feels more substantial, its flavor hinting of broccoli. It’s the curly and hardy never-let-you down, always-make-you-feel-good vegetable that people couldn’t stand several years ago but suddenly can’t seem to eat enough of.