My favorite vegetable is kale. It used to be broccoli, but then a few years ago I started eating kale, and it quickly moved to first place. But I think a lot of people don't know about kale. At least 80% of the time the check-out clerk at the grocery store has to look up the code # for it (and probably 50% of the time I have to identify which vegetable it is). The other day, as she was looking up the code, the woman behind me in line started asking me what it was, how to cook it, what it tasted like.
So, in the hopes of introducing more people to this lovely vegetable:
Kale is full of nutrition -- tons of vitamin A & C, plus calcium and antioxidants. It's actually related to cabbage, and some varieties are grown as decorative plants.
Most of the kale sold in stores here is curly kale -- dark green leaves with ruffled or spiky edges. Sometimes you'll also see Lacinto, or "dinosaur" kale, which is smoother, darker, and bumpy (like dinosaur skin? not sure where that nickname comes from). Curly kale has a nice kind of sharp or peppery taste. Lacinto is sweeter, and usually more expensive. Both are good.
My favorite way of cooking it is super easy. Wash & tear the leaves away from the center ribs, which are tough and bitter. Steam until dark green and tender. Season with umeboshi plum vinegar, which you can find in the Asian section of a large market/health food store. Other good seasoning options are tamari or Bragg Amino Acids. You can also saute it with garlic and olive oil, Italian style. And here are some other recipes. Enjoy!