How to Cook Kale and Make It Tender

Kale is a vegetable that belongs in the cabbage family. You can identify it by its curly leaves, which are arranged like a bouquet but do not form a head. Kale has a high calcium and vitamin content. While young green kale leaves can be steamed, stirred, sauteed or even eaten raw, mature green kale needs boiling to make it tender. Kale is packed with enough vitamins and minerals that boiling does not denature it or make it much less nutritious. In fact, tenderized kale is easier to digest, and its nutritional contents are absorbed faster.

Step 1

Rinse the kale leaves in a large bowl. Shake the leaves in water to remove sand and bugs. Drain in a colander.

Step 2

Remove all discolored leaves and tough stems. Remove the thick middle stems by folding the leaves down and slicing off the spines with a chef's knife.

Step 3

Boil a pot of water and then add 1/2 tsp. salt to the water.

Step 4

Roll up the kale leaves and chop them crosswise into slices 1/2-inch thick.

Step 5

Dump the chopped kale in the salted, boiled water. Cook over high heat and stir until the water starts boiling again. Cover the pot but leave a small opening for steam to escape.

Step 6

Cook for three minutes and stir once every minute.

Step 7

Remove a piece of the cooking kale leaves. Let it cool for a few seconds. Gently tear and then chew it. Stop cooking when the test leaf is tender but still chewy.

Step 8

Strain the kale leaves in a colander. Rinse under a stream of cold water to stop further cooking. Drain the leaves in the colander.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl

  • Chef's knife

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • Colander

references & resources
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