VegBox Recipes


Kale Kale is a leafy cabbage-type vegetable.

It's in season over the winter, which makes it a useful ingredient in the vegetable box.

It's strong flavour requires careful cooking, so it's worth reading how to use it and checking out the recipes, to make sure you enjoy it.

Choose kale leaves when they're still small and young. Avoid leaves that are mottled yellow, as this means they're going to be old and bitter.

Older leaves tend to taste more bitter and have thicker, stringy stalks, which take much longer to cook than the leaves.

Use it as soon as you can after buying.
Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Bear in mind that it gets more bitter, the longer it hangs around after harvesting. So use it fresh and young.
Trim the stringy stalk. Wash the leaves well. Then use them as spinach or cabbage.

You can slice the leaves and wilt them in a little butter and garlic for a quick, tasty side dish.

More Kale Information

#1 Kale Tip: Use as soon as possible after picking, to minimise bitterness.

Go straight to:

Kale recipes
(we currently have 11 recipes for kale)

Russian Kale
Russian Kale

Kale is related to cabbage, but it forms a loose-leaf plant, rather than a tight-headed vegetable.

It originates in Asia and is believed to have been brought to Europe around 600 BC.

It tends to be bitter and its bitterness increases quickly after picking, so it's best eaten as fresh as possible.
Keeping it cool (in the fridge) can help keep the bitterness down.

You can use it as a substitute for spinach in many recipes, or you can substitute it for cabbage in recipes that call for a strong flavour. Young, tender leaves can be used raw in salads.

Kale is a great source of Vitamins C, A and B6. It's also packed with antioxidants, which are vital for a healthy immune system.

The flat version of kale is often known as "Russian Kale". The curlier type is, not surprisingly, known as "curly kale" or sometimes "green kale".

Did you know...?
If you get kale after a frost, it will taste sweeter than the week before.
Kale And Roquefort Parcels
If youíve got an excess of kale and a household thatís close to being fed up of eating it, hereís a recipe that should inspire them again. Or see the variations for ideas with chard or spinach.

Serves 4

  • 250g shortcrust pastry
  • 200g kale
  • (or Swiss chard or winter spinach)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 100g blue cheese, e.g. Roquefort or Stilton
  • Handful pine nuts
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  1. 1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.

  2. Heat a large frying pan with no oil and toast the pine nuts for 2 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned. Remove from the heat and set on one side.

  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and gently saute the onion with the garlic for 10 minutes until it is soft.

  4. Wash the kale well and dry thoroughly. Shred it finely. Add the kale to the pan and saute with the lid on for 5 minutes, until the kale is wilted. Then remove the lid and continue to cook until most of the moisture has evaporated.

  5. Roughly chop the pine nuts and mix in with the kale. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir well.

  6. Roll out the pastry to about Ĺ cm thick. Use a saucer and a knife to cut 4 circles, to make the pasties.

  7. Put 2-3 tablespoons of filling into the middle of each pasty. Crumble the blue on top of the filling.

  8. Brush the edges of each circle with a little milk or beaten egg, then seal together to make a pasty shape. Brush the top of the pasty with milk or egg.

  9. Put on a greased baking tray and bake for about 40 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crispy.


About 1 hour

Suggested Kale Recipes

Autumn Vegetable Stir Fry

This is a quick and easy way of using up any leftovers in your autumn veg box. We've listed the ingredients we most commonly use, but you can adapt this recipe to suit whatever you've got spare.

Black Nero Cabbage Soup

I must confess I never thought I would fall for "cabbage soup"!

So I was really surprised by how delicious this recipe is. Even my toddler came back for third helpings, which is unheard of...

Note: you can use kale or Savoy cabbage, too.

Broccoli & Kale Stir Fry

This is a great recipe for a quick lunchtime stir fry. It uses broccoli and kale (or dark-leafed cabbage or spinach) because these are so rich in nutrients. It can easily be adapted to have a Japanese style, if you prefer.

Dutch Potatoes with Winter Greens

This side dish is absolutely perfect for a cold Winter's night.

Dutch Potatoes with Winter Greens

This is just perfect for a cold night.

Jam-Packed Summer Vegetable Risotto

This ruby-red risotto not only looks stunning but tastes amazing AND it can be adapted to use whatever's in your box this week.

Kale And Roquefort Parcels

If youíve got an excess of kale and a household thatís close to being fed up of eating it, hereís a recipe that should inspire them again. Or see the variations for ideas with chard or spinach.

Kale Pesto Pasta

This is a brilliant way of sneaking kale past fussy eaters. The garlic helps reduce the bitterness of the kale and the pine nuts add a sweet, nutty flavour. It also works well with spinach, chard or black nero cabbage.

Red Onion Risotto

You can use red onions in place of white onions in most recipes. But here's one that we've developed specially for in-season red onions. It's great with added spinach, black nero cabbage or even kale.

Salsify Gratin

This recipe is the first we've added for the unusual root vegetable "salsify" and has been generously provided to us from the lovely book "Veg: The Cookbook" by Greg Wallace.

Spicy Cabbage Soup

You can use any type of cabbage for this recipe, so itís a great way of using up leftovers. Spices are a good way of boosting your metabolic rate, which can get sluggish in winter, so this soup should leave you feeling full of energy.

Spicy Kale with Chickpeas

This recipe has come in from Jason H, who says:

"If you don't like the texture of chick peas then you could use mixed beans instead, in which case cook them for longer."

Thanks for the submission, Jason - it's a perfect recipe for the Winter months.

Spinach Gnocchi Bake

Spinach and Gruyere cheese make a delicious combination in this gnocchi bake. If you don't have spinach, it also works well with kale or chard.

Spinach, Blue Cheese & Pine Nut Lasagne

This is an amazingly delicious recipe for spinach lasagne. We kept going back for more. It takes a little effort, so you might want to make double and freeze half for another day - if it lasts that long!
Also works well with Swiss chard or kale.

Super-quick cheating pizza

This super-quick pizza recipe can be rustled up in less than 10 minutes and tastes delicious, either with fresh summer tomatoes or a quick can of Italian chopped tomatoes. Fresh spinach or rocket makes this an easy, quick, healthy treat. See the variations for options with kale, courgette (zucchini) or peas!

Watercress, Spinach & Goats' Cheese Salad

I invented this recipe one lunchtime when we were all craving salad - in the depths of winter. Our local farm shop had some fresh watercress and mixed winter leaves and the rest is, as they say, history.

The warm goats' cheese makes this salad a filling winter or springtime treat.

Winter Stir Fry

Stir fries are a real fast food, yet they're healthy.

The trick is to prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking.

The sauce with this stir fry is delicious, but you may need to add a little water, if your peanut butter is really thick.

The vegetables below are just suggestions. You can vary this recipe to include most winter vegetables. Just chop them into pieces that will cook quickly.

Got one? Send us your recipe!

Back to ingredients index

Back to main recipe index

Bookmark and Share

BBC LONDON Featured on Badge