Kale is having a moment. Much like fat-free cookies and artificial butter, it won’t last. Thank Sweet Baby Jesus. The day kale packs its suitcase to join the other food fads in the diet annals can’t come soon enough.
Despite throngs knealing at kale’s altar, the simple truth is kale has uses. It’s supposed to add interest to your garden or potted plants. And it’s the garnish. Didn’t your mother chastise, “Don’t eat the garnish. Do you know how many hands have been on that?” My sweet Gigi, always a Cotillion princess and a hoot to boot, believed deeply that parsley belonged off your plate and tucked behind your ear. I never knew why. I just knew my colorful grandmother wore her parsley like Hawaiians wear flowers.
What brought this on? An article offering recipes for kale desserts. Enough is enough. Not only is kale an inedible, bitter, far too curly veggie like matter, it is not dessert. Kale, you sir, are not dessert. Get back in the garden as decoration where you belong. Pfft.
Kale dessert offerings include popsicles, muffins, ice cream, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate covered crisps. Not only is all that ghastly beyond imagining, but these veggie worshippers need a lesson in dessert. Everyone knows chocolate chip cookies are daytime pick-me-ups and nighttime treats with milk. Crisps have never fallen into the dessert category and muffins are breakfast cakes. Popsicles are what we give our children when we want them to go outside and not bother us. A popsicle on a plate after a three course meal? Don’t be fooled.
Red velvet cake with sour cream frosting served on a perfect plate from Anthroplogie is dessert. A brownie in a shallow bowl covered in vanilla bean ice cream and warmed chocolate sauce is dessert. Dessert is an infrequent, sweet, indulgent addition to cap off a meal. Who wants to end their meal with a shudder? A dehydrated piece of lettuce frill covered in carob is not dessert.
When you can’t eat for a year, veggies in general are not the stuff of dreams. Does Guy Fieri travel the country in search of the best diners featuring lettuces? I think not. Kale has its place as a finely chopped addition to romaine, spinach and iceberg. It can stand proud as a nutritional booster. But warmed and served as a side? Whatever happened to corn? Or beans or peas? They’re green.
Have you cooked this stuff? You can add whatever you like to the pot to make it palatable, but make sure you have a clothespin for your nose. The fishy smell it elicits lingers in the kitchen for a week. Another reason food should be brought in ready to consume. Everyone knows the kitchen is another room for decorating. If not, why are there so many cute but useless things at Sur La Table and Marshall’s Home Goods. Silver cherry pitter, anyone? Yep, have one. Why? ’Cuz it’s cute. Never pitted a cherry in my life.
If you must, and you probably should, order a handful of chopped kale added to your salad at True Foods. But do not order the crisps. You work so hard. A real chocolate chip cookie isn’t gonna hurt you. It’s not dehydrated and it doesn’t smell like fish. Indeed, it smells like heaven, the place from which it came.