Making Friends with Kale

Jane from CLEAR shares how she has learned to incorporate kale into her meals and has started to really enjoy it.

I’ve had a difficult relationship with kale over the years and it’s only recently that have made friends with it and started really enjoying it. Kale grows abundantly all year round in Scotland with its peak season in winter and after my sprouts are finished and before the purple sprouting broccoli starts, it can be the only green veg in my allotment. As well as being environmentally sound, with small carbon footprint, it’s also a super food and like other green leafy vegetables, packs a huge nutritional punch. It is one of the most nutritionally dense plants on the planet and an excellent source of fibre, vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C (www.healthline. com). So, what’s not to like?

The main thing that has put me off kale in the past is that all the fibre it contains can make it really tough and sometimes chewing a kale salad feels like my teeth are being worn down at a rate of knots. Also, unlike Brussels sprouts, which I love, kale doesn’t always taste all that good (depending on the variety), so I have diluted it with other things to make it more palatable – I put it in soups and stews, tried Italian recipes with garlic and balsamic vinegar and mixed it with other greens to name a few. But now I’ve found some recipes I really enjoy and kale has become a delight to eat.

A simple rub, like a literal massage using your fingers, takes only about a minute or two, but turns raw kale into something else altogether: a tender, sweet green that is great in salad.

Raw Kale Salad

1 handful of kale, stalks removed

1tbsp soya sauce

1tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp ginger juice (or finely grated ginger)

1 apple, diced

½ red pepper, cut into matchsticks

3 tbsp pecan nuts, roughly chopped

Tear or cut the kale into 2-3cm pieces. Add the soya sauce, sesame oil and ginger juice, mix well, then massage into the leaves for a few minutes until they soften and wilt.

Add the apple, pepper and pecan nuts. Mix well and serve.

This salad does not store well and is best eaten just after making.

Kale crisps

Recipe from: BBC

These super-healthy kale crisps are a genius way to hit that snack craving and use up past-its-best veg.


200g/7oz kale, washed, dried, tough stalks removed and shredded

1 tsp olive oil

fine salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 140C/120C Fan/Gas 1.

  1. Toss the kale with the olive oil and a pinch of salt in a bowl until well coated, then transfer to two baking trays.
  2. Bake for 15 minutes, shake the trays, then return to the oven for a further 10–15 minutes until crisp.
  3. Serve sprinkled with more salt and some pepper.

You can also:

Replace olive oil with sesame oil

Sprinkle with chilli flakes or 2 tsp Smoked paprika


Roast Squash, Beetroot & Crispy Kale Traybake                         

Recipe from: Farmdrop


1 small seasonal squash or half a larger squash

500g mixed colour beetroots

2 red onions

4 cloves garlic*

150g kale

60g feta

Sliced red chilli (optional)*

2 tbsp crushed toasted hazelnuts*

1 tbsp olive oil for roasting*

a drizzle of Moscatel or sherry vinegar*


Preheat the oven to 200℃. Cut the squash into 1.5cm wedges, discarding the seeds and innards.

Peel the beetroot and onion, cut into wedges.

Toss all the chopped vegetables and unpeeled garlic cloves with the olive oil and salt, place in a large roasting dish and cook for 25 mins or until tender.

Tear the kale leaves off the stalks and scatter over the top of the traybake along with a drizzle more oil and salt, then roast for a further 5-7 minutes.

Give everything a good toss and scatter the feta, sliced chilli if using, hazelnuts and vinegar over the top. Serve.


Seasonal fruit and veg grown in the UK will has a smaller carbon footprint than exotic or out-of-season veg. and usually tases better too. Other fruit and vegetables in season in November include: Apples, Cranberries, Pears, Quince, Elderberries, Potatoes, Sweet potatoes, Celeriac, Swede, Turnips, Parsnips, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Squash and Pumpkin, Red and Savoy Cabbage, Jerusalem Artichokes, Carrots, Cauliflower, Leeks, Onions, Celery, Chicory.

Climate Action Fife is a Fife-wide partnership project, bringing together individuals, communities, local government and businesses to tackle the climate emergency. It is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action Fund. #ClimateActionFife

Scroll to Top