Recipe: Spicy Sausage, Kale, and Goat Cheese Pizza
- 1 lb. pizza dough
- 4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 large leaves Tuscan kale, ribs removed, leaves torn into 1-inch pieces
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. chicken broth
- Kosher salt
- 2 links spicy sausage, casings removed
- 1 ripe tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 5 fresh basil leaves
- 2 tbsp. crumbled goat cheese
History of Kale
Enjoying a resurgence in popularity in recent years, kale has some controversy between scientists about its exact origins. Kale is said to have originated in Asia Minor and Europe where it has been eaten for almost 4,000 years. But others claim that kale was grown in Europe, especially in Greek and Roman lands, over 2,000 years ago. Some claim that up until the Middle Ages, kale was the most popular vegetable that was eaten. No matter its origins, kale arrived in the United States in the 1600s.
Medical Properties of Kale
Kale boasts a standing as one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables around. Exceptionally high in vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C, kale also supplies nutrients like manganese, potassium, copper, calcium, vitamin B6, and magnesium. Kale is a source of antioxidants that help fight cancer. And zeaxanthin and lutein along with vitamin A in kale help fight degeneration of eyesight and against the formation of cataracts. Kale contains the flavonoids kaempferol and quercetin that studies have shown to be helpful in lowering blood pressure, fighting inflammation, protecting the heart, combatting depression, and in fighting viruses and cancer. Studies have also shown that cholesterol can be lowered by substances in kale that bind to bile acids and then prevent their reabsorption by the body. With its high water content and low amount of calories, kale can be a helpful addition to aid in losing weight.
Surprising Facts About Kale
As a winter vegetable, kale grows well while withstanding cold temperatures and even frost. Encountering frost during its growing process is actually known to improve the flavor of kale. Farmers try to harvest kale after the first frost that converts some of the starches into sugars for better flavor. Previously known as pheasant’s cabbage, kale was used by Greeks in ancient times to sober up and to fight hangovers. As a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, kale is related to collard greens, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.
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