The Book of Kale & Friends - authors Sharon Hanna and Carol, photo by Alison Page

The Book of Kale & Friends – authors Sharon Hanna and Carol Pope, photo by Alison Page

Beyond the Kale? The Hired Belly is pinching himself. I can’t quite believe I’ve turned into a Kale freak. But there I go, rejoicing in the sweet taste of our over-wintered survivors. And openly lusting after the spring planting of Kale, which will soon await picking in our garden.

KaleEven though there’s been lots written in lifestyle and medical circles about the healthy benefits of dark, green leaves I place the blame for my infatuation firmly at the feet of ‘Queen of Kale’ Sharon Hanna, whose first Book of Kale initially got me all worked up.


Kale v2.0

Now she’s collaborated with noted gardening author Carol Pope to produce a second book, The Book of Kale & Friends, and I’m positively panting!

The first tome has become gently-worn in a much-loved, well used way—even though we’ve barely scratched its surface.  If not cooking them, I dream of Kale chips, plot to blend Kale dips, mix smoothies, bash some potato Kale hash, and a whole lot more, including chopping the fresh leafy greens for my home made pizza.

Book of Kale & Friends

The second book, dare I say, is even better than the first! It too is packed with truly useful information about how to grow your own Kale and easily identify the different varieties.

The bonus this time around is an expansion to include a group of “14 easy-to-grow superfoods” (which the authors almost agree upon), ranging from Arugula to Garlic, Lovage, Cilantro, Oregano and more. The point being that these beneficial vegetables and herbs really are simple to grow, and are, without exception, incredibly healthy.

Nectarine Tomato Feta Salad, Christina Symons photo

Nectarine Tomato Feta Salad, Christina Symons photo

Mix in the same lighthearted, down-to-earth banter and wide-ranging selection of (often one pot) recipes and I’m pretty sure they have another sure-fire success on their hands.  Kale & Friends (Douglas & McIntyre, $26.95) is a remarkably well put together book, just packed with nourishing information and a wealth of truly ‘good for you’ recipes.

Talk to you again soon – I’m heading out to the garden to hang out with my plants

Oh—and best wine match for Kale? Riesling, of course!

Almost but not quite a Book of Kale & Friends recipe: Kale and potato hash

Almost but not quite a Book of Kale & Friends recipe, but definitely inspired by it: Kale, oyster and potato hash. Rosé allowed just this once …