Recipe: Raw Kale Salad

While I mostly boil or roast kale, I've learned to appreciate the speediness and tastiness of preparing it raw by massaging it. This sounds like a strange thing to do, but it turns out that a little elbow grease and the right kind of dressing will break down and soften kale's tough fibers and cell walls much in the same way that cooking does. Any oil plus an acid (like a vinaigrette dressing) can be used to wilt raw kale with a few minutes of rubbing the dressed kale between your fingers. Even just marinating raw kale in vinaigrette for several hours in the fridge will soften it, but the massage method is my new favorite go-to prep for its speediness and simplicity.

- handful of kale
- handful of basil
- 1/2 pint shelling peas
- 1/2 pint snow peas
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. sesame seeds


1) Place each leaf upside down (stem side up) and using a small, sharp knife cut the stem out.

2) Switch to a larger knife and slice kale into thin ribbons.

3) Place kale ribbons into salad bowl and add lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Massage for 2-3 min to tenderize. Put aside to continue softening while you prep the rest of the salad.

4) Slice basil into similarly sized ribbons and combine with both types of peas (snow peas coarsely chopped and shelling peas shelled). 

5) Add all to salad bowl along with sesame seeds and mix well. Other seeds like pumpkin or hemp or nuts like walnuts or pine nuts are delicious possibilities too.

Guest Recipe: Roasted Salad

For the next two weeks I'm thrilled to feature guest recipes from my dear friend Natalie. She's an awesome vegan cook, a mom to two sweet little boys, and a Toronto ex-pat like myself. Our respective downtown apartments used to be just a couple blocks from one another, but these days I pack the kids in the car and we drive from the farm out to Peterborough to visit. Wish we had the time to do it more often.

Natalie with her two monkeys, Barrett and Denver.


Natalie's at her most creative in the wee hours, when the house is quiet, and that's when this dish came to her. Sure, salad is delicious, but what about a roasted salad? That is, a salad made up entirely of oven roasted veggies. Mmm. The potatoes, squash and beans give this dish some weight and texture, while the tomatoes add caramelized sweetness and the kale a crisp leafiness. I think all I need to say are two final words: roasted garlic.


- 1 lb potatoes, cubed
- 1 medium sized patty pan squash, sliced
- 2 cups snap beans, trimmed
- 2 cups kale, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Toss patty pan squash, potatoes and snap beans in olive oil in a roasting pan and salt lightly.

2. Bake, stirring occasionally, until veggies are tender and beginning to brown, about 45 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes, kale and garlic to roasting pan along with a bit more olive oil and salt.

4. Bake until kale is beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes.

5. Remove from pan to a salad bowl and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Take this time to pull kids away from their fun activity for boring old dinner. Might take longer than expected...

Just 2 more minutes, Mom, please?


6. Serve with additional olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and enjoy with some good friends. Yum!

Recipe: Colcannon

One of the many traditional Irish recipes for mashed potatoes, this one features scallions and either kale or cabbage. I like the way our Toscano kale tastes with Yukon Gem potatoes that are in the boxes this week. Made creamy and rich with the help of milk and butter, this can be a tasty side dish or a heavier main course with the addition of bacon.


- 2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed         

- 4 cups kale, chopped

- 1 cup scallions, finely chopped

- 1 cup milk

- 4 tbsp butter

- (optional) 5 strips of bacon

- salt to taste



1. Boil peeled and cubed potatoes in lightly salted water until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes, and drain.

2. At the same time, simmer kale in lightly salted water until softened and reduced, about 15 minutes.

3. Add butter to potatoes and melt on low heat. Mash potatoes and mix thoroughly with melted butter.

4. Add scallions, milk and kale and simmer for 10 minutes on low-medium. Taste and add salt as needed.

5. If adding bacon, fry and cut into thin strips, mix into colcannon just prior to serving.


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Harvest Day Dinner


With two hungry farmers to feed on this busy harvest Monday, I needed to make sure dinner was filling enough. For this meal I added bacon to the colcannon and served it with roasted patty pan squash and a huge salad. I also fried some mushrooms by special request of Sylvia, the only kid I've ever known who love mushrooms.

Dinner in order from front to back: colcannon with bacon, garden salad (featuring red peppers that will be in next week's box!), fried mushrooms in yogurt and roasted patty pan squash

Guest farmer Kevin stops by to help Eric out with harvest day. Thanks, Kevin!

Recipe: Kale Chips

Kale Chips

Kale is a veggie that's coming into it's own these days, a hot item in trendy restos and widely featured in foodie blogs. In fact, I think the foodie police will revoke your cultured taste buds if you don't have a go-to kale recipe. Kale rightly earns its praise by being highly nutritious, easy to cook, and supremely delicious. It stores well in the fridge and complements a wide variety of meals - I can find a way to add it to pretty much anything I'm making for dinner. This recipe is a super simple and very kid-friendly snack or side dish. I'll often add it on to a meal if it happens to have veggies the kids aren't into so I know at least they'll stuff their little faces with crispy kale chips.



- handful of kale, stems removed and roughly chopped

- olive oil

- salt



1. Use a paring knife to remove stems and slice into "chip-sized" pieces. This year we've grown black kale (left) and red Russian kale (right) and the latter's stems can be steamed until tender and eaten.

2. Spread kale pieces out on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste.

3. Bake at 300F for about 10 minutes or until kale is crispy. Check it often as the time between "crispy" and "burnt" is vanishingly small.

4. Remove to a plate and let cool. Enjoy!