Fall Fest: Kale 5 Ways

By: Liz Gray

We're teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Fall Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we'll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you're harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out   awaytogarden.com.

It may not be easy being green, but it's easy to eat your greens when there's so many to choose from at the farmers' market this time of year: mustard greens, collard greens, Swiss chard, spinach and, my personal favorite, kale.

Instead of cooking greens into oblivion with lots of fat and salt, I prefer kinder, gentler treatments that preserve nutrients (not to mention flavor) , from kale chips to pesto to a riff on green bean casserole . Get 'em while they're fresh, then try them 5 delicious ways.

Giada's Spicy Parmesan Green Beans and Kale

Trade in the canned soup and green beans for Giada's market-fresh take on green bean casserole:  Sauteed green beans, mushrooms and kale with red pepper-spiced white wine sauce and a Parmesan topper.

Kale Chips

These kale chips are a crunchy, light alternative to traditional chips.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, then bake at 250 degrees to draw out the moisture.  Give these bright green chips extra flavor with a pinch of smoked paprika, chili powder or your favorite spice blend.

RECIPE: Kale Chips
Wilted Greens With Ricotta Salata

Wilted greens with salt, pepper and a little olive oil are a simple, hearty weeknight side.  With a little more effort, jazz them up with garlic, onion and soy sauce, then top with salty ricotta salata cheese.

Potato-Kale Soup

Kale leaves are just thick enough that they keep their integrity when thrown into a pot of soup.  Add a bunch of kale to your favorite potato soup recipe, or try Katie's comforting wintery recipe, with only 132 calories per serving.

Kale Pesto

If you didn't get it together to freeze pesto during the summer months (hand raised), don't spend a small fortune on those tiny herb packs at the grocery store -- switch out summer herbs for wintery greens like kale.  Katie's version uses chives, parsley, kale, pine nuts and Parmesan, but kale would also be delicious paired with walnuts and romano cheese.

RECIPE: Kale Pesto
TELL US: What's your favorite way to eat kale?
More Favorite Veggies with Friends and Family:
Keep Reading

Next Up

Fall Fest: Pumpkins 5 Ways

This weekend we took the kids to a pumpkin patch and they absolutely loved it! Now we have lots of pumpkins and need to put them to good use. Here are 5 recipes using your freshly picked (and even canned) pumpkins.

Roasted Cauliflower 5 Ways — Fall Fest

Roasting cauliflower gives this vegetable a well-browned exterior and a flavorful, moist interior. Get Food Network's recipes.

5 New Ways to Bake with Carrots — Fall Fest

Start grating carrots for comforting desserts that take the whole carrot cake idea and run with it.

Five 5-Star Ways to Get Your Sweet Potato Fix — Fall Fest

Load up on our top comforting sweet potato recipes, each with 5-star ratings, that you'll swear by all season long.

Fall Fest: 5 Favorite Fall Salads

It's sad when fresh, juicy tomatoes disappear from farmers' markets, but there is an upside: it's time for fall salads, with earthy root veggies and hearty greens. Here are 5 of our favorite combinations.

5 Healthy Ways to Bake with Pumpkin Puree — Fall Fest

Work smooth and spicy pumpkin puree into your favorite baked goods, from classic pumpkin pie to savory pumpkin biscuits.

5 Ways to Host a Healthier Halloween Party — Fall Fest

This Halloween, skip the packaged candy – serve homemade treats instead.