Thursday, June 18, 2009

Caldo Verde Kale

At this time of year I make lots of Caldo Verde ,a green soup made from kale and potatoes. It is easy to vary the ingredients and add some chorizo or make a seafood version with small pieces of fish .At the last moment of cooking I add a squeeze of lime juice and some chopped shallots which are plentiful at this time of year.
There are two types of kale I grow. One is the curly kale, a red form of which is pictured below. This is known as chou frise in France and couve galega or couve frisada in Portugal.
Brassica oleracea var. sabellica, Curly Kale
A similar variety which has thick white ribs on the leaf is Madiera Seakale ,Brassica oleracea var. costata This is known as chou de Beauvais in France or couve tronchuda in Portugal (couve portuguesa in Brazil)
Brassica oleracea var acephala ,Palm Cabbage
This variety has become more popular and is sold by the Italian name of cavolo nero or Tuscan Black kale .In France it is known as chou palmier..
All kales are easy to grow and are productive for at least 2 years and will grow quite tall as you harvest the leaves from the bottom upwards. Insect pests are many especially white fly ,aphids and caterpillars of the cabbage white butterfly. The curved and curly leaves make it easy for the insects to hide and avoid the spray of pesticides.
2017 update: Kale has become very popular as a vegetable but I have found it needs a cold winter to improve the flavour.

1 comment:

  1. I like Caldo verde a lot.Its time to make this soup with fresh grilled sardinhas in Lisboa...its the popular Party of Stº António.