A weekly taste of the Echo Park Farmers’ Market.
By Samuel Temblador
With temperatures soaring this week, anyone looking for a refreshing summer treat might be surprised to find it in the form of kale. The trendy green–described as “the new spinach” by Sabrina Bohn of Shear Rock Farms–that has been prepared as a salad, tossed with pasta, and served with eggs has also become an ingredient in smoothies.
“That’s the big thing for Kale right now,” said Bohn at last week’s Echo Park Farmers’ Market. “A lot of people are doing juicing and blending … with chard, fruit, frozen fruit” and now kale.
The only problem with this is that kale is very tough, making it hard to blend. Farmers’ market shopper Brett Gibson suggested that the kale be blanched. “Split the stocks and cover it so it steams…that makes it softer quicker.”
Depending on how it’s served, kale can either be bitter or sweet. Shopper Fritz Michaud finds that the kale sold at the market gets “kind of sweet” after being sauteed. “But raw it’s a little more bitter.”
When shopping for kale, a shopper named Jennifer (she declined to provider her last name) said she tries to avoid the leaves with brown edges. “If it’s crisp and all green, then I think it’s fine.”
Aside from smoothies, kale can be used in a variety of dishes; including kale with quinoa as suggested by Gibson. He prepares the dish by sauteing the kale in chicken or vegetable stock, olive oil, salt, and pepper. For the coup de grace, he puts the kale on top of a bed of quinoa grain and drizzles tahini sauce over it. Without the chicken stock, It can be prepared as a vegetarian meal.
Other recipes suggested by shoppers included a kale salad with almonds, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese.
If kale is a sell out at the farmers’ market, Michaud said that spinach can replace kale in any recipe, but “there’s more of a flavor to kale.”
The Echo Park Farmers’ Market is held every Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the municipal parking lot south of Sunset Boulevard between Logan Street and Echo Park Avenue.
Samuel Temblador is a UCLA student from South L.A. interested in journalism and communications.