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Kale Raab

Facts:

Spring is the time of year that over wintered Kale in the fields wants to reproduce, just like any other healthy species. Kale belongs to the Brassica (cabbage) family and it is a biennial, which means that it spends its first growing season developing a strong root system and leaves. In the Spring of the following year, brassica plants (kale, cabbage, broccoli, mustards) start to bolt, sending out their flowers in pursuit of procreation. The result is raab. Yes, in Spring, we can enjoy Raabs as these plants reach the end of their lifecycle and get on with the job of producing the next. Raabs, those tender, flowery tops of these plants, are lovely simply sautéed with some garlic, and they can be great grilled, too.
Just another reason to grow kale: it produces a delightful extra edible: broccoli-like flower buds.

Prep Tips:

Remove the tough rib of the raab, leaving only the leaves. Chop into bite size pieces.

Storage Tips:

Place in a plastic bag and store in refrigerator.

Harvest Season:

April

Farm Recipe:

Kale Raab (florets) & Pasta
1 pound pasta (chunky ones will match up better with the rabe)
1 pound kale raab, heavy stems removed, remaining stems and leaves cut into 1- to 2-inch sections
1/2 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon pepper
About 1 heaping teaspoon salt

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add pasta and five minutes before its cooking time is up, add the kale raab.
*It will seem like too much for the water, but with a stir or two, the raab should wilt and cook alongside the pasta.
Drain raab and pasta together and pour into serving bowl.
In a small pot, heat the olive oil with the garlic, pepper flakes and Kosher salt over moderate heat, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the garlic becomes lightly golden.
Pour mixture over pasta and toss to evenly coat.
Shower with freshly grated cheese and eat at once.

To serve: Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

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