Fall Fest: Kale 5 Ways

By: Liz Gray
Green Beans and Kale

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:

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