DIARY | SLUG and Kalette

Kalettes. The bastard child of kale and Brussel sprouts.

Sprouts are the vegetable version of the Christmas jumper. Nobody really likes them. They are a bit of a joke. And if they are left in hot water too long they go all weird and turn a funny colour.

And Kale? Kale is the only vegetable I know that has it’s own conspiracy theory. Google it. I don’t know if the Oberon Sinclair story is true (she’s some kind of marketing guru who simply made up the idea that kale was a superfood, because she liked kale) but the sheer fact that it’s been spread on social media tells you something. There’s no smoke without an arsonist, as they say.

So, Brussel sprouts and kale getting it on and reproducing sounds about as appealing as if Katie Hopkins and Nigel Farage did the unimaginable after a Make Albion Great Again fund-raiser and… Actually, let’s not imagine that prospect.

But I digress.

Kalettes. We got ’em. And we need to use ’em.

I picked one up from SLUG yesterday.

SLUG. Strawberry Lane Urban Growers. It’s a plot on the allotments opposite St Barts in Armley.

(All you Armley Afficionados will realise the allotment is not quite on Strawberry Lane, but you try to come up with an acronym for Brooklyn Terrace, off Hall Lane allotments. Geographical precision be damned!)

A kalette by the way is about 4 feet tall, and after stripping the edible leaves the stalk is tough and heavy and knobbly enough to serve as a weapon to repel a Viking invasion.

My question was, how do you cook a kalette? Naturally I thought, stew. This thing looks like the sort of stuff you’d stick in a stew, where it wouldn’t bring too much attention to itself. I asked Twitter if anyone had a kalette stew recipe and got an answer from Foodwise Leeds: 12 kalette recipes, not one for stew, which was hardly useful.

So, I just made a recipe up, using stuff I mostly got from Yum, with a few things (like green lentils and a stock cube) I had in the cupboard. And, it’s not half bad.

I think the very generous glug of coconut milk cannot have harmed.

Everything tastes better bathed in coconut milk, and this stew is positively awash in the stuff.

I’ll be taking more kalettes down to Yum later this week, so if anyone wants the recipe get in touch. It’s actually not half bad (though I’m waiting to hear what the Yum lot thought about it.)