Steam Kale In Broth To Bring Out The Savory Flavors

Kale comes in many different forms with varying textures and tastes. Generally speaking, kale is a leafy and usually green vegetable that is packed with vitamins and nutrients. It is also commonly referred to as a "superfood". The taste of kale is mostly earthy and often bitter; however, an excellent method for inspiring a more enjoyable flavor is by steaming kale and replacing the water used to steam it with a rich, savory broth.

It is ideal to steam kale – among many other foods you should be steaming — in order to retain its nutrients. Steaming kale takes the vegetable from its raw state and tough texture, and transforms it into a delicate and considerably more palatable softened green. The introduction of broth as the steaming element seasons the kale by infusing flavor into the bitter vegetable and making it taste better. Pairing a lean protein along with kale steamed in broth will provide complementary flavors, particularly if the broth and protein match. For example, try serving kale steamed in chicken broth as a side dish to a roasted chicken.

The best broth for your kale

Whether you're a devoted kale fan or remain a skeptic, steaming kale in broth is an effective method of preparation for the cruciferous character. Per America's Test Kitchen writer Keith Dresser, "Steaming the kale in chicken broth versus plain water added [a] meaty backbone." Dresser notes, "Using only a small amount of liquid allows for quick evaporation so that the kale retains a resilient, not soggy, texture." Consider selecting a broth to customize the taste of your steamed kale in a way that will best suit the main tasting notes of your meal.

Take dashi, for example. This soup stock is the base for a variety of different Japanese soups and will give your kale a distinct umami flavor. Choosing a vegetable broth and topping with a protein like tofu or tempeh can make your steamed kale a delightful accompaniment for a fully vegetarian meal. Steaming kale with a beef broth will give it a rich and hearty taste alongside a pot roast or brisket. Adding in herbs, hints of citrus, and spices can create a more robust overall flavor for your steamed kale. Leaving out the water and introducing an extra helping of seasoning by way of a broth base will definitely open up more possibilities for this superfood.