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Comparing Kale

By Cook's Illustrated Published November 2015

Three types of kale are commonly available in supermarkets. So, how do you know which to choose for your application?

Three types of kale are commonly available in supermarkets—black (also known as dinosaur, cavolo nero, Lacinato, or Tuscan), curly (also known as Scottish or green), and red (also known as Russian Red or Winter Red). To examine their differences, we sampled the greens braised and in a salad that called for soaking the raw leaves in a warm water bath to tenderize them. While they all had pleasant flavor, we preferred the tenderness of black and curly kale. Red kale was too tough to enjoy, even when braised.

BLACK KALE

Raw: sweet, mineral-y, tender

Braised: robust, rich

CURLY KALE

Raw: pungent, grassy

Braised: nutty, tender

RED KALE

Raw: vegetal, leathery

Braised: vegetal, tough