Fall Veg Gardening and Kale-palooza!

It's not too late to plant veggie starts that you can enjoy into the fall and winter. Broccoli, lettuce, spinach, carrots, endive, kale, collards, rutabaga, and arugula are all great options.  A few fast growers like lettuce and arugula can be seeded and harvested as baby greens, most likely, before the first hard frost.

Kale, collards, and mustard greens can all grow well into the colder seasons and withstand frost. The flavor actually improves with cold night time temperatures.  When you plant with a fall and winter harvest in mind be sure to select varieties that are well suited to harvesting during that time of year.

Oregon State University Extension Service offers a great publication with helpful information about Fall and Winter Vegetable Gardening.

So plant some kale and then try these tasty recipes that fellow Master Gardener and professional chef, Greg Sweeting, shared during his Kale-palooza presentation at the 2016 Incredible Edibles Plant Sale.  For more inspiration, be sure to catch Greg's Harvest to Table presentation on Tuesday, September 13th.

Kale-palooza Recipes!
Kale-Strawberry-Chevre Salad - an elegant salad, equally nice with any other seasonal fruit!
Wash, De-stem and spin dry 8-12 Kale Leaves
Roll them in a tight ball or pack and Slice them as thinly as possible. Turn the pile 90 degrees and chop through it again until the kale is very fine. Do it again, pressing the pile into a tight bunch so fewer knife passes are required. Set aside in small container.
To a large mixing bowl add the following: 1/8C Lemon Juice, 1 Tbsp. Tahini, Real Salt and fresh cracked Black Pepper to taste. Whisk to dissolve salt. Whisk in 1 Tbsp. fresh minced Garlic & 1/4C. E.V.O.O. Add 1C thin sliced Strawberries, 1/2C toasted Walnuts, 1/2C dry Cranberries, 4 ozs. crumbled Chèvre (goat cheese). Toss well. Serve slightly chilled to room temp.

Banana-Kale Smoothie - A fun, yummy way to serve up kale to kids both young and old!

Put into the blender: 2 or 3 frozen very ripe bananas, some orange or mango or mandarins, 2C unsweetened organic coconut milk, 2T chia seeds, 1C plain grass fed yogurt, 4 large kale leaves, 2T honey, 1T unsweetened coconut, 1 ripe avocado. Blend on high speed until well pureed. Pour into wine glasses for an exotic healthy energy getaway.

Garlic Sauteed Kale with Fig Balsamic Vinegar & Extra Virgin Olive Oil - SOOOO delicious!!

E.V.O.O. 4Tbsp.
Fig Vinegar 2Tbsp.
10 Kale Leaves, washed and rough chopped with most large stem removed
2-3 cloves Garlic minced
Real Salt
Dried Red Pepper Flakes
3T Fig (or other balsamic version) Balsamic Vinegar

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat for a minute or 2. Add the minced garlic and the chopped kale directly on top, being careful not to brown the garlic. Some water from the washed greens helps prevent that while the greens have a chance to quickly break down, release some moisture of their own and help braise the whole concoction. Add the seasoning on top of the greens, then use the vinegar to rinse the seasoning down into the pan. Quickly cover the pan, then lower the heat to LOW and cook for 5-10 minutes, making sure there's a little moisture for steaming/braising.

Serve hot as vegetable side for many entrees or add to soup, casserole or egg dish if leftover from a meal.

-Recipes courtesy of Greg Sweeting