This time of year things are a bit sparse on the fresh greens front. However, one of Ireland’s old fashioned veggies has been on trend for the last couple of years. The humble Kale plant has had culinary fame thrust upon it by top chefs up and down the land. It’s a member of the cabbage family, with long stalks and loose curly edged leaves. Kale is full of iron and health gurus recommend it for juicing, to give your body a serious boost of vitamins and antioxidants. Recommended by nutritionists in the diets of those suffering from serious illnesses like cancer. But we would all have to agree you’ve got to learn to like it if you want to include it in your seasonal eating. Kale leaves need to be steamed to become tender. Boiling is common but can be responsible for loss of nutrients. Eating it raw in salads or in juices may be an acquired taste, but certainly does the trick in the nutritional stakes. We think it works well in risottos, where it is finely shredded and added to the rice during cooking. Enrich your risotto with a little butter and some grated cheese at the end for a taste of luxury. Chefs also use it in tarts and quiches. Baby kale leaves are favoured for winter salads. Also used in old recipes for Colcannon, where it is mixed with buttery mashed potatoes. Welcome kale into your kitchen this month!