Recently I ran a experiment with 4 different kinds of kale microgreens from True Leaf Market a company I use exclusively for my seeds. What I found was a bit surprising, watch the the video below to see the entire experiment or read on for details. Kale, while well know for its health benefits has a certain appeal to it as a garnish as well. As a microgreen, kale has a very mild flavor, making it perfect for adding to sandwiches and salads as a way to get the multiple nutritional benefits kale provides without the need to force feed yourself kale.
When I started this microgreen kale experiment I had only grown Red Russian Kale which is one of my fairly regular crops. The main reason I like this crop is for its beauty. If grown until the first true leaf stage the leaves have a beautiful frill to them, they can get long with jagged edges of pink colors creating a wonderful look. Chefs love them for their great presentation as a garnish to just about any dish. If you watched the video above you will find that Red Russian Kale was my favorite of this little trial with its delicious flavor and superior looks.
As far as size goes the Dwarf Siberian Kale Microgreens grew very similar to the Red Russian Kale microgreens. These didn’t produce a very strong flavor and the yield per tray wasn’t terribly high. This kale may do better as a baby or full grown kale, allowing the adult leaves to develop. If you want a highly tender kale microgreen with a mild flavor, this might be the microgreen for you. This kale variety is perfect for mixes or added to a salad or sandwich while it wont provide the pop as a garnish many chefs may be looking for.
A very compact microgreen that produced a very good yield per tray, this kale microgreen wont disappoint. Vates Blue Scotch Kale microgreens have a powerful flavor for such a little plant. The taste is similar to cabbage but with a little kale kick. A little tougher than the Red Russian or the Dwarf Siberian but still tender enough to be very enjoyable. Perfect for a mix and will have a good shelf life.
Like the Blue Scotch, the Lacinato is a high yielding, compact microgreen. This may have been the most powerfully flavored kale of them all. The stem of the Lacinato is much firmer than the other 3 kales with a distinct crunch. Add this microgreen to sandwiches to add a bold broccoli like flavor with a nice crunch.