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The Book of Kale and Friends

The Book of Kale and Friends.jpgKale seems to be popping up on everyone's dinner plates these days. The curly green stuff is rich in nutrients,  like antioxidants.  It's also easy to grow ourselves. So it's being hailed as a superfood.

Our guest this morning is such a fan of kale that she's co-authored a second book about it. It's titled The Book of Kale and Friends (the "friends" are other tasty greens that you can grow yourself).

Sharon Hanna is co-author of "The Book of Kale and Friends". She tells host Sonali Karnick about mixing her greens.

Read more for a couple of their recipes.

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Nectarine, Tomato & Feta Salad with Purple Ruffles

Like getting your own entire bowl of fruit salsa to gorge on, and an excellent reason to grow Purple Ruffles basil. You can sub the nectarines with freestone peaches if you like. Using your own tomatoes--"salad" size like Chadwick's Cherry, Sungold, Black Cherry, Green Grape . . . or any other smallish variety you grow--will make the salad extra special.

vegetarian, gluten-free

  • 3 large nectarines
  • About 3 large tomatoes or the same volume of cherry-sized tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium-sized purple onion, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) crumbled feta
  • Lots of chopped purple basil leaves, plus extra leaves for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • A few grindings of pepper
  • Pinch of salt

Halve nectarines, remove pits, and cut into bite-sized chunks. Transfer to a bowl.

Cut large tomatoes into chunks or halve little tomatoes, andplace in same bowl. Add onion, feta and basil and gently combine. Drizzle olive oil over salad ingredients and stir to coat, then add the vinegar, pepper and salt. Garnish with basil leaves and serve immediately.

makes 4 servings

Roasted Tomato Cobbler with Thyme

Inspiration for this recipe came from the Smitten Kitchen blog's rhubarb strawberry dish, which is stupendous. For the tomatoes, grow or seek out "salad" tomatoes; for example, "on the vine" selections like Campari. In a pinch, use small Roma tomatoes sliced in half lengthwise. You can use a lot of garlic on the tomatoes or just a little shard or two. Try replacing the thyme with oregano and use feta in the topping to make the dish Greek-ish. A combination of cheddar and Parmigiano works well in this recipe, but any firm cheese will do. Since the oven will be on for a few hours, you could dry some kale or slow-roast whole garlic heads or anything else so as not to waste electricity. Sharon suggests pairing this dish with Sexist Slaw with Kale (see page 116).


  • About 3 lb (1.5 kg) tomatoes
  • A little salt
  • A few thyme leaves for the tomatoes
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced into little shards
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2  large sweet onion
  • 1 cup (250 mL) flour
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) sugar
  • 1/2  tsp (2.5 mL) baking powder
  • 1/2  tsp (2.5 mL) salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) grated cheese
  • 1/3-1/2  cup (80-125 mL) melted butter
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped thyme leaves or more

Preheat oven to 250F (120C).

Halve the tomatoes and arrange cut side up on parchment-paperlined cookie sheets. Sprinkle with salt and put a few thyme leaves in each half, as well as a small shard of garlic, pushing the garlic and thyme down into the tomato (this sounds like a lot of work but it's not). Drizzle or spray a little olive oil on top. Slow roast the tomatoes for 2 hours or so until they are quite a bit smaller but still moist.

Transfer tomatoes to an oiled ovenproof dish, laying them out rather evenly. Using a box grater, grate onion on top of tomatoes, spreading onion out as evenly as you can with your hands. Turn oven up to 375F (190C).

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, and mix lightly with a fork. Add the grated cheese and mix again. Pour in the melted butter, add the 2 tsp (10 mL) of thyme and mix with the fork again. Topping will be on the dry side in small and larger bits. Scatter the topping as evenly as possible over the tomatoes. It will even out as it bakes. Bake for about 30 minutes or until topping is lightly browned.

makes 4 to 6 servings