5.20.13 Kale Rabe

5.20.13 Kale Rabe

We’ve extolled the virtues of bolted kale here before. Whenever we chance to be in the garden, we pinch off a couple of sweet florets to nibble on. It was with delight, then, that we discovered that snapping further down the stalk make for a harvest of kale rabe. Like asparagus, the plant will tell you just the spot to pick, its tender limit where it gives most easily. As the overwintered kales made way for spring planting, we had one last bouquet of kale rate to enjoy. Like so many things straight from the garden, this seasonal treat was best devoured simply roasted and anointed with good olive oil and some crunchy sea salt. The delicious results has us casting a new eye on the rest of the bolting brassicas.

5.20.13 Kale Rabe

It’s been a wonderfully lush spring here in Maine, long and slow, with enough time to allow us to savor each new wave of emerging growth. This month’s Full Flower Moon falls on May 25th this year. Also known as Mother’s Moon, Milk Moon, and Corn Planting Moon, it marks the end of late frosts and, with the arrival of warmer temperatures, a safe period of fertility. We’ve held off most of our planting until then, and, now with the deer fence firmly in place, there’s much to do in the days ahead!

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17 Responses to 5.20.13 Kale Rabe

  1. katrina says:

    I just picked off the leaves and florets from last year’s kale plants, which are about to be plowed under. Now I know what to call them! Hasn’t it been a lovely Spring so far?

  2. Ricki Grady says:

    One more reason to plant kale. Now if I could just get those grubs to leave it alone.

    • dvelten says:

      Gee, my kale didn’t survive the winter but some of the volunteers in the paths are starting to bolt. Thanks, now I know I should just eat them. Better fate than the compost pile.

    • leduesorelle says:

      Ricki — Among the many! We had problems with the lacinato attracting cabbage moths until we switched to planting it as a fall crop.

      dvelten — It’s like having free food!

  3. Mike R says:

    I picked the kale florets last week. They are delicious. I’ve noticed that once the flowers open the stem quickly goes woody, at least for the variety I’m growing, but before that they are fantastic.

    • leduesorelle says:

      Thanks for the tip, Mike! It was something I was wondering about. We definitely had one stalk that was toothsome…

  4. Michelle says:

    Kale rabe, that’s a great name for it. I enjoyed that this spring and also the shoots from my Tronchuda Beira (Portuguese cabbage). It’s all long gone now. I wonder if spinach shoots are tasty, I’ll have to give them a try, my spinach is just starting to bolt.

    • leduesorelle says:

      Technically, it’s not a rate, though great way of thinking of the florets, isn’t it? We’ve been enjoying how growing our own vegetables has given us the chance to understand how to use them in a deeper way, and all phases of their development.

  5. Norma Chang says:

    Beautiful bouquet of kale rabe.

  6. Bee Girl says:

    I love kale rabe! Glad to see I’m not alone ;-)

  7. kitsapfg says:

    Kale rabe is quite delicious and gives the patch a last hurrah harvest wise before we finally say good by to it until the fall crop is planted. Quite yummy! Looks like your spring work is about to seriously get underway.

  8. Barbie says:

    Beautiful picture. We all enjoy them in our sir fries

  9. Simona says:

    I “discovered” this crop last year and have become a big fan. It makes a nice frittata :)

  10. I feed my kale flowers to my chickens, who think picking them off the stem is a lot of fun. Amusing creatures.

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