Simple Tuscan Kale Recipe: A Quick and Delicious Dish


Tuscan kale, also known as dinosaur kale or lacinato kale, is a leafy green vegetable that is not only delicious and nutritious but also easy to care for. Its dark and crinkly leaves resemble the skin of a dinosaur, hence the name. Tuscan kale is a variety of kale that has a milder and sweeter taste compared to other types of kale.

When growing Tuscan kale, it is important to choose a sunny location with well-draining soil. This plant does well in moderately acidic soil and prefers medium humidity. You can start Tuscan kale from seeds or purchase seedlings from a garden center. If you’re starting from seeds, it’s best to start them indoors about 6-8 weeks before the last frost date. Once the seedlings have grown to a few inches tall, you can transplant them into your garden or a large pot.

One of the advantages of growing Tuscan kale is that it is relatively resistant to diseases and pests, including aphids. However, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for any signs of infestation and take action if needed. To keep your Tuscan kale plants healthy and productive, make sure to consistently water them and provide them with enough sunlight.

To enhance the flavor and texture of Tuscan kale, some people recommend blanching the leaves before cooking. Blanching involves briefly boiling the leaves in water and then quickly cooling them in ice water. This process helps to reduce the bitterness of the leaves and leaves them tender and tasty.

Tuscan kale is a versatile vegetable that can be used in various recipes. It can be enjoyed raw in salads or cooked in soups, stir-fries, and side dishes. Its slightly sweet and earthy flavor pairs well with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, growing Tuscan kale is a rewarding and easy experience that can provide you with a tasty and nutritious ingredient for your meals.

Growing Lacinato “Dinosaur” Kale

Here are some tips for growing Lacinato kale:

  1. Prepare the soil: First, thoroughly prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris. Lacinato kale prefers a soil that is rich in organic matter, so add compost or well-rotted manure to improve fertility.
  2. Planting: It is best to start Lacinato kale indoors from seeds, about 6-8 weeks before the last frost date. Plant the seeds in a container filled with seed-starting mix, and cover them with a thin layer of soil. Keep the soil consistently moist. Once the seedlings have grown a few inches tall, you can transplant them into your garden or larger containers.
  3. Spacing: When planting in the garden, space the Lacinato kale seedlings about 12-18 inches apart. This will ensure they have enough room to grow and prevent diseases from spreading.
  4. Sun and water: Lacinato kale prefers full sun, so choose a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day. Water the plants regularly, making sure the soil stays evenly moist. Be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot.
  5. Pests and diseases: Lacinato kale is generally resistant to most pests and diseases. However, keep an eye out for common garden insects like aphids and flea beetles. If you spot any insects, you can spray the plants with a liquid soap and water solution to deter them.
  6. Harvesting: Lacinato kale can be harvested once the leaves are large enough to use. Start by picking the outer leaves and leave the inner leaves to continue growing. This allows the plant to produce more leaves over time. To prolong the harvest, pinch off any flower buds (called bolting) that have formed.

With these tips, you can successfully grow Lacinato “dinosaur” kale in your garden. Enjoy the flavorful and nutritious leaves in your favorite recipes!

My first attempt at growing this beautiful and unusual kale has been a sweet success

Greg, who lives in a warm area, decided to try growing a unique type of kale called Tuscan kale. Not as common as other types of kale, Tuscan kale, also known as dinosaur kale or lacinato kale, has a beautiful dark green color and a unique texture that resembles the skin of a dinosaur. Greg planted the kale seeds in his vegetable garden while the weather was still warm and the soil was evenly moist.

Care and maintenance were necessary to ensure the kale plants grew healthy. Greg took the time to thoroughly prepare the soil, removing any weeds and adding compost for extra nutrients. He planted the seeds in shallow rows, about 1 inch deep, and covered them with a thin layer of soil. To keep pests away, Greg added seaweed mulch around the plants, which also helped retain moisture.

Greg eagerly watched as the kale seeds sprouted and grew into small seedlings. He made sure to water them regularly, keeping the soil slightly moist but not overly saturated. As the kale plants grew, Greg was amazed by the beautiful rainbow of colors they displayed. Tuscan kale is not only delicious and nutritious but also ornamental, making it a stunning addition to any garden.

When the kale plants reached about 8 inches in height, Greg decided it was time to start harvesting the leaves. He usually picked the outer leaves first, allowing the inner leaves to continue growing. Tuscan kale is very versatile in cooking. Greg loved to sauté the kale with a bit of olive oil and garlic, as it brings out the wonderful Italian flavor. The taste of Tuscan kale is slightly sweeter and less bitter than other types of kale, which Greg really enjoyed.

While growing Tuscan kale, Greg encountered a few challenges. He had to be mindful of pests, such as aphids and cabbage loopers, which can damage the leaves. Regular inspection and hand-picking pests helped keep the kale plants healthy. Additionally, Greg had to ensure the soil was not too acidic, as Tuscan kale prefers a slightly alkaline soil. Adding a bit of lime helped balance the pH levels and maintain optimal growing conditions for the kale plants.

Overall, Greg’s first attempt at growing Tuscan kale has been a rewarding experience. Not only did he enjoy the process of planting, caring for, and harvesting the kale, but he also discovered a new favorite vegetable. He plans to continue growing Tuscan kale in his garden year after year, as it is not only delicious but also an easy-to-grow and low-maintenance plant.

Easy Tuscan Kale

Tuscan kale, also known as “dinosaur” kale, is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that is easy to grow. It is a type of kale that has large, dark green leaves with a slightly wrinkled texture. Tuscan kale is very versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and salads to stir-fries and pasta dishes.

To grow Tuscan kale, you can start by planting seeds indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. Fill a seed tray with potting soil and lightly sprinkle the seeds on top. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and lightly water them. Place the seed tray in a warm and humid environment and continue to water lightly as needed.

Once the seedlings have grown to a few inches tall, you can transplant them into larger pots or directly into the garden. Choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil for the plants. Make sure to space them at least 12 inches apart to allow for proper airflow and growth.

Tuscan kale is a cool-season vegetable that thrives in cooler temperatures. It can tolerate some frost, but if the weather gets too cold, you can protect the plants by covering them with a row cover or a layer of mulch. Reduce watering during colder months, as the plants won’t need as much moisture.

As the Tuscan kale grows, you can harvest the leaves as needed. To do this, simply cut the outer leaves from the plant, leaving the inner leaves to continue growing. This will allow for a continuous harvest throughout the season.

Tuscan kale is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. It is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber and antioxidants. Whether you want to use it in a salad, sauté it as a side dish, or add it to a smoothie, Tuscan kale is a tasty and nutritious addition to any meal.

So why not give Tuscan kale a try? Plant some seeds, nurture them with care, and soon you’ll be enjoying the delicious benefits of this easy-to-grow vegetable.

What is Tuscan kale

Tuscan kale, also known as Lacinato kale or “dinosaur” kale, is a variety of kale that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It is milder and has a more tender texture compared to other types of kale.

When it comes to growing Tuscan kale, it’s best to start from seeds. You can start the seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost date, or directly sow them outdoors when the soil temperature reaches at least 45°F (7°C). Tuscan kale plants grow well in containers too, making it a great option for those who don’t have a large garden space.

Tuscan kale is part of the Brassica family, which includes other nutritious vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. It is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like calcium and iron.

This leafy green can be cooked in a variety of ways. It can be sautéed, steamed, or even used as a base for salads. One popular way to enjoy Tuscan kale is by making kale chips. Simply coat the kale leaves with a little olive oil, sprinkle some sea salt, and bake them until they are crispy. Kale chips are a delicious and nutritious snack.

Tuscan kale is also known for its resistance to common kale diseases, making it a reliable choice for gardeners. It is a large and consistently productive plant, often reaching heights of 2-3 feet (60-90 cm). The deep green leaves are beautiful and have an inviting, slightly bumpy texture.

Because it is a cold-season vegetable, Tuscan kale can be grown in both the spring and fall. It can withstand frost and even tastes better after a light frost, as the cold temperatures enhance its flavor. Additionally, Tuscan kale can be harvested gradually, by removing the outer leaves as needed, allowing the inner leaves to continue to grow.

If you’re planning to grow Tuscan kale, it is also important to note that it pairs well with other mix-ins and flavors. You can experiment with adding sliced almonds, roasted garlic, or even dried cranberries to enhance its taste. The possibilities are endless!

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, Tuscan kale is a versatile and delicious vegetable to include in your garden. Its unique flavor, beautiful appearance, and health benefits make it a star ingredient that will consistently impress.

✿ Read More About Vegetables.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.