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March Canning: Pickled Kale

Meet Dinosaur Kale (and Dinosaur Carson).


I came into an abundance of organic kale through a friend and as a means of somehow preserving a bit (there's no way I can eat the lot fresh before it goes bad), I did a canning experiement: Pickled Greens. I could not find any resources on canning hardy winter greens such as kale, chard, etc but it's quite possible that canning kale might result in a mushy and/or tasty mess. Right?

Starting at 10pm, Carson and I inspected the kale for any leaves that were bug infested or diseased-- and this was a most enjoyable activity. I got a good laugh when Carson told me his grandma used to challenge him and his brother to "find as many slugs in the garden" as possible. It wasn't until fairly recently that Carson realized his grandma's ploy was really a way for her to rid the garden of pests. Ha! Anyhow, then I made a potent brine with white vinegar, water, and some pickling spice I picked up from Remlinger Farms last summer (we visited the farm to pick our own raspberries), based on a recipe for pickling green beans or asparagus. After packing the hot, sterilized jars with kale I ladled brine to the top of each jar and swished the trusty chopstick around to release any trapped air within the kale. Water bath canned in boiling water for 5 minutes.

The next morning, I had this:



I just cracked open a jar to find what the final texture is and... drumroll... not mushy! The spines of the kale provide ample crunch and the leaves are soft, but not too soft. Major problem? They are waaayyyy too sour. I was worried about the vinegar to water ratio but now I'll have to figure out what dishes to use them in. They are not for munching/snacking. Any ideas?

Update, September 2011: I've rinsed these pickles then chopped and added them into salads, pilafs, etc and it's a great use. Next time I will use an appropriate brine from a book-- I need to accept that I'm not ready to write my own canning recipes. All in all, I say go for pickling kale.

Comments

  1. Mandy....I love you...and Dinosaur Carson.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maybe the addition of sugar as in recipes for pickling beets would work on the canning.

    For cooking, why not cut it into thin strips for a stir-fry? Or, try it oil/butter with garlic or onions and mix it with other veggies to dilute the flavour.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been searching for a good recipe for pickling kale, and I'm going to try it with a kim chi recipe from my mother. Any updates on your recipe?

    Thanks for posting, I pinterested your page to come back to it for the recipe :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi. I have been canning greens at the direction of my sweetie who is from New Zealand and that is something they do. I wash and strip the stems off the Dwarf Kale and scissor into rough pieces. We never add salt. Cook them down in a large pot with a couple of inches of water. Sometimes we add onion or garlic. At the very end we pour in a cup or so of organic apple cider vinegar. It is all very flexible as I didn't have a recipe either. Once I added chipolte chilies for a little zing. Since I didn't have a "real" recipe and we were doing the traditional canning water bath I have kept them in the fridge to be sure. But, I will say I have eaten them daily and really enjoy them. Yum.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi. I have been canning greens at the direction of my sweetie who is from New Zealand and that is something they do. I wash and strip the stems off the Dwarf Kale and scissor into rough pieces. We never add salt. Cook them down in a large pot with a couple of inches of water. Sometimes we add onion or garlic. At the very end we pour in a cup or so of organic apple cider vinegar. It is all very flexible as I didn't have a recipe either. Once I added chipolte chilies for a little zing. Since I didn't have a "real" recipe and we were doing the traditional canning water bath I have kept them in the fridge to be sure. But, I will say I have eaten them daily and really enjoy them. Yum.

    ReplyDelete
  6. my interest is using the pickled kale as a substitute for pickled grape leaves and stuffing them with rice, tomatoes, and tempeh (what's this dish's name??) and then baking it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Local hunan place has a dish called beef and sour vegetables.
    basically hunan beef that uses ses cruciferous pickled greens as the stir fried veg, with some unpickled onion, scalion, garlic and ginger. Bet you could do something like that.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the great pickle idea! I featured it today :) http://www.colorfulcanary.com/2016/10/pass-pickles-20-unique-things-you-can.html

    ReplyDelete

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