Purple kale has purple-green leaves and deep purple stems. The sturdy green is in season in spring and fall when the weather is cooler. Although tender young kale leaves are suitable for fresh use, the tougher larger leaves have the best flavor and texture after cooking. Purple kale responds well to steaming as it tenderizes the leaves without compromising the color or flavor of the vegetable. Use purple kale as you would regular kale in your favorite recipes.
Fill a bowl with cold water. Soak the kale leaves in the water for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse with clear water.
Trim off the fibrous stems, if desired. The stems of larger leaves are often tough and require removal, while small leaves have more tender stems you can leave on.
Place 2 inches of water in a medium saucepan. Set a vegetable steamer basket in the saucepan so that the bottom of the basket sits above the water level in the pan.
Bring the water to a full boil over medium to medium-high heat. Place the purple kale leaves in the basket and set the lid on the pot.
Steam the kale for 3 to 6 minutes, or until the leaves begin to wilt but still retain their bright purple coloration. Serve the cooked kale plain or salt lightly, as desired.