|Kale Slaw jumps off the menu at Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, AL|
Bold Taste and Bold Nutrition
Other powerful players garnering gourmet attention are vegetables from the Brassica family especially kale continuing a winter run of popularity as crunchy kale chips and braised kale into a spring fashion format. At Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, chef Frank Stitt’s fresh kale even showed up at the bar as guests enjoyed cocktails with soft shell crab and deep green kale slaw. Dietitian Kathleen Zelman, nutrition director for WebMD, says “Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. One cup of kale contains only 36 calories and provides 5 grams of fiber and 15 percent of your daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 180 percent of vitamin A, 200 percent of vitamin C and over 1000 percent of vitamin K. Move over Popeye!”
Sometimes you have to be a little bold to get the bolder vegetables. Mark McQueen, of Atlanta looked around the room at Canton Cooks in Sandy Springs and noticed that Asian families knew to ask for Chinese broccoli instead of the regular stuff automatically served with dishes like Beef and Broccoli. “So I decided to get the Chinese broccoli with my lunch. It’s a bit bitter but tastes super fresh and it was a real bright green. I liked it.” McQueen said. Chinese broccoli and broccoli rabe often served in Italian restaurants are more closely related to mustard greens than broccoli. Their bite is as bold as their nutrition contributions as excellent sources of vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium as well as the healthy plant nutrient called lutein associated with eye health. Chinese broccoli, broccoli rabe and rappini can be steamed, stir-fried, sautéed or braised and I bet a pretty good slaw.