When I opened my Seasonal Roots box and saw the curly kale, I knew some southern greens were in order. Delicious Southern Kale is simple but full of down home, comfort. This post is sponsored by Seasonal Roots, but all opinions are my own.
When I received this tender, and fresh kale from Seasonal Roots, I knew they were going into a delicious pot of braised kale. Look at how pretty it is!! All curly and green. I wanted, no needed to make some braised kale just like my dad and Nana used to make. Tender, rich with pork broth, and full of comfort. Delicious southern kale is a recipe that takes me back to my childhood in an instant.
I’m a southern girl. I know. Those could argue that neither Virginia nor Kentucky are true south. To be honest, I don’t care what those people think. My upbringing was that of a southerner. We had iced tea at every meal. Kale and collards are a family favorite. Fried chicken was always cooked in a cast iron skillet. And we know what country ham and salt pork are.
I see those wrinkled faces. Country ham? Salt pork?
Okay, I’ll give you that salt pork isn’t necessary a southern item. It helped feed the military from the Napoleonic wars through as late as the Civil War and probably later. However, it’s most popular for pork and beans and to flavor greens like kale and collards.
Both are ways of curing pork in salt. Country ham gets cured in salt and seasonings for long periods of time. Sometimes it’s smoked afterwards. If you don’t know how to prepare it properly it can be super salty and dry. Ours always simmered on the stove for a long period of time. Then it sat, wrapped in newspaper and blankets, for at least a day in the corner of the dining room. This made it super tender and having the right amount of salt for delicious sandwiches or added to beans and greens.
Salt pork was also cured in salt for long periods of time. It resembles slab bacon but with a little more fat on top for typical salt pork. There’s another version called streak ‘o lean that looks more like regular bacon. What I purchased was regular salt pork. I went looking for country ham but couldn’t find any. So, I settled on the salt pork. And I’m really glad I did!
I found it in the meat section of my local grocery store. It’s near the hams in the meat section, typically. It’s a small package about the size of 2 decks of cards side by side. Mine was the Smithfield brand, which I’ve always trusted. Our country hams and all the pork we eat is Smithfield. It’s a top brand in our area.
Growing up we had kale and collard greens regularly. Back then, kale wasn’t as popular as it is now. It was rather budget friendly and we could make a large meal of them for a little money. Throw in some of the salt pork or country ham and it makes for even more delicious meal. The rich meat adds a slight salty flavor to the pot liquor and a gives the greens amazing flavor.
What’s pot liquor?
Oh my. Pot liquor is the juice that remains after braising greens or beans with meat. Not only does it taste amazing, but it’s full of vitamins and minerals. Therefore, it’s good to have cornbread on hand when you make this delicious southern kale recipe. You can dip the cornbread in there and taste the pot liquor.
Now, in our house I’m the only one who really likes kale. The hubs thinks it’s too bitter sometimes. And it can be too bitter. That’s why I think it’s important to get fresh kale that is local. It’s tender with hardly any bitter flavor at all. This kale was super delicious without even a hint of bitterness.
This kale is from Seasonal Roots. I’ve talked about them before in my posts. I made creamed collard greens and some carrot kohlrabi slaw with their produce. Those are the dedicated posts for them. I’ve mentioned using their produce in other posts, too. You can see a list of them here. It will continue to grow as I work with them.
In fact, I am getting a box from them this week to cook with!
For those that don’t know Season Roots is an east coast CSA style service. They supply their customers with produce, artisan goods, and other delicious goodies. All their products are from local farmers, bakeries, and other delicious suppliers. They have a range of products from fruits and veggies to cheese and even baked goods! They have a gluten free section, too!
There are three sizes of baskets to order. Typically, we order the family basket. I think I over did it last time I ordered, and we had a TON of produce! So much that they had give us a second box. We had kale, 2 kinds of lettuce, so much broccoli, strawberries, and salad turnips. Those turnips are still in the fridge. I need to add them to my salad this week.
SO MUCH BROCCOLI! Yes, I did double up. That’s the best part about being a member. If there’s something in your basket you don’t like or can’t eat (like cilantro or asparagus) you can swap it out for something you do want to eat. I swapped out the cilantro for more broccoli. There were about 4 crowns per order, I think? All I know is that broccoli is the most tender and delicious broccoli I’ve ever eaten. We roasted it, but I did save the stalks for soup later this year.
And, like I said, when I saw the curly kale I had to braise it and take me back home. They didn’t take long to get all soft and delicious. I wanted to keep an eye on them. They didn’t need to get all mushy. Since they were tender and fresh, I wanted to taste that. And you can totally taste that.
I know they don’t deliver everywhere yet. They’re working on it. However, you can go to their site and see what areas they deliver and if you’re in their delivery area. Their area is ever expanding. When I first started with them, I was on the edge of their delivery area. They are soon expanding into Maryland! Their produce is excellent and the demand for their service in other areas is ever increasing.
Each delivery comes with information about the supplier. It’s great to get to know these farmers and artisans through the tidbits supplied in the shipment. There’s also recipes for you to make. These are also shared on the website and their many social media accounts. You need to follow them on Instagram. They share discounts, ideas, and many great pictures of their delicious produce.
Oh yeah! And if you use code SAVEWITHAKHA you can get a discount on the membership. This allows you to swap out items you can’t eat with items you can. It’s a great way to customize your produce (or meat, cheeses, breads, etc.) for whatever you want to serve your family that week.
- 6 ounces salt pork, finely diced
- 6 cups curly kale, rinsed and drained
- 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large Dutch oven, on medium-high heat. Add the salt pork and cook until browned and crispy.
- Add the kale and cook 2 to 3 minutes to saute the kale for color and flavor.
- Add the chicken stock. Cover and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the kale is tender but not over cooked. The salt pork should be nice and tender, too.
- Taste the kale before adding additional salt. Add pepper to taste.