Thursday, June 28, 2012

Urban Gardening in Baltimore, Part 2 (What Can You Make with Kale)


Until two years ago I had never tried kale before. To be honest I even didn't know it had existed. We don't have it in my home country. It took me a while to start using it in my cooking.

The first dish I made with this green veggie was Tuscan soup. It became one of my family's favorite soups. You must try it. How can it be bad when you have a dish that brings together kale and sausage, bacon and potato?

The next cool thing is Kale chips. Simple, healthy and original snack.

Kale leaves are not so delicate as those of spinach or Swiss chard, so it needs some cooking to be edible. The simplest way is to saute it and add it to rice, beans or potato.

Below you can see all my favorite recipes with kale.

Since my last post my garden grew a lot. I really enjoy it. All those mean bugs wandering around and damaging my poor plants won't diminish my enthusiasm for gardening. You can see some of my veggies, herbs and flowers on the following pictures.

Dill flowers

Yellow squash blossom



Cherry tomato

Fig tree

Tuscan Soup (Zuppa Toscana)

You need:
3-4 slices of bacon, diced
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 medium potatoes, cubed
2-3 cups of kale, shredded
6 cups chicken broth or water
1 lb kielbasa, sliced diagonally
Salt and black pepper
Sour cream and lemon juice


In the large pot cook chopped bacon until brown and crispy. Add olive oil and chopped onion, and after 1 minute garlic.
When the onion becomes soft add cubed potato. Cook all on moderate heat for about 3 minutes.
Pour the water or broth in, and cook it until boil, then reduce heat, cover pot and cook for 20 minutes. Put salt and freshly ground pepper. Add sliced kielbasa.
Add shredded kale and cook for about 5 minutes.
Serve the soup with sour cream and lemon juice.
Kale Chips

You need:

A bunch of kale
1 teaspoon of dried herbs: oregano, basil and sage
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of olive oil


Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Place parchment paper over baking pan.
Wash and dry kale. Remove hard stems and cut kale into bite size pieces.
Add garlic powder, dried herbs, salt and black pepper to kale on baking sheet and drizzle it with olive oil. Mix everything well and roast it in the oven for 10 minutes until crisp but not burned.

Sauteed Kale with Rice, Chickpeas and Feta Cheese

You need:

1 cup of rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
A bunch of young kale
1 can of chickpeas
Feta cheese
Lemon juice
Salt and black pepper


Cook rice in salted water until is done (al dente). Drain it and set aside.
In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add young kale and saute it until soft.
Add cooked rice and chickpeas from the can. Stir it well. Add salt and black pepper. Cook it for 5 minutes.
Serve with lemon juice and crumbled Feta cheese.

Spider and his web in my garden


  1. i love your urban garden! i've never tried kale chips, i'm intrigued :)

  2. Divna ti je baštica, mnogo mi se sviđa. Ja sam balkon pretvorila u baštu, koliko sam mogla, ali nije to-to. I fotografije su veoma lepe. Potpuno sam oduševljena što imaš drvo smokve!

  3. ima mnogo ljudi koji ovdje zive pa nikad nisu ni culi za kelj, a kamoli ga probali. mi ga cesto spremamo na pijaci da ga ljudi probaju, pogotovo sad kad mu je sezona mogu ga odmah i kupiti.. meni je bas fin..

    a smokve... mljac, naprosto ih obozavam!


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