"Piehole" in Midwestern means "mouth," as in "Shut your piehole." Preferably we shut it on some tasty home cooking. We love to grow, market, buy, cook, bake and grill so we can feed our faces, chow down, pig out, scarf & whatnot. I'm a born Midwestern home cook posting foods and recipes that show up in front of me, because like all Midwesterners I eat what's put in front of me. Pull up a chair. What can I get you?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Can You Eat Ornamental Kale?

"It's ornamental kale," said the nursery clerk, as I paid for this dressy, ruffly green kale plant. Between choosing a pumpkin or ornamental kale for outdoor decoration, this autumn I got the kale. So pretty. And I also bought three spindly young kale plants for the garden.

Those aren't doing well; one was so buggy I didn't plant it. But the ornamental kale is gorgeous. So I looked it up, and yes, you CAN eat ornamental kale; it is no different from the other kind except maybe it was sprayed with something. So I washed it well (all kale needs thorough washing anyway). Kale lives long into the winter months and it's a superfood I love, especially fixed as

Sauteed Kale in Olive Oil with Breadcrumbs

1 bunch fresh kale leaves
1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
red pepper flakes
1/2 cup of plain breadcrumbs (more if desired)

Wash the kale leaves and remove the tough stems. Put them in a hot skillet and let them steam in the water that clings to the leaves. When the leaves begin to stick to the pan, pour in the olive oil and red pepper flakes and stir. Cook until the kale is reduced to the texture you like. Remove from pan to serving dish. Top with crumbs and salt; toss and serve.

Makes a good pasta topper!

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