Leafy Greens

By: Karen Talaski | February 3, 2020

Photo Courtesy of Parc Detroit.

When it comes to a redemption, the once-ignored bunch of kale can say it has gone from zero to hero. With so many nutrients and lots of crunch, kale now holds center stage in many Metro Detroit restaurants as part of every course.

There are kale salads, of course. But in addition to that standby there are many chefs coming up with unique ways to highlight and serve this leafy green in its starters, soups and main dishes. Those chefs that could put kale in the dessert round have yet to take that chance, but here’s hoping that you’ll see that mix of sweet and savory in the future.

One local example of a chef trying to take kale to the next level is Parc’s executive chef Jordan Hoffman. Hoffman developed Parc’s menu to blend familiar, local favorites with what he describes as “Midwestern European cuisine.” In other words, he blends the best of his classical training that he received in Metro Detroit with his many international travels.

For his dish, Hoffman blended kale with one of his favorites, fresh seafood. Parc through Hoffman’s guidance brings in daily flights of seafood and fish, so adding kale to these dishes just made sense. That is why his Wood-Roasted Oysters are a great vehicle for the kale and lots of flavor.

Here are some other local dishes that blend kale with surprising ingredients.

Brooklyn Street Local 
Sure, you can throw kale into any old salad. But when you put it into a big dressing like Caesar, you’re sure to get a hit. The Brooklyn Street Local Kale Caesar Salad contained marinated raw kale, house-made herb croutons and Caesar dressing. Another option is Kale Quinoa Salad with marinated raw kale, beets and carrots with apples, organic quinoa and toasted almonds.

 

7 Greens 
What makes this salad-forward restaurant fun is the way you can change up any dish to be in a bowl or wrapped in spinach or a whole wheat wrap. Its Yoga Girl features baby spinach, kale, quinoa, carrots, raw beets, roasted Brussel sprouts, roasted organic spicy tofu and a sriracha drizzle. Also, Kale You Later has kale, green apple, onions, slivered almonds, shaved parmesan and golden raisins. 

Detroit Vegan Soul 
This innovative vegetarian-friendly restaurant has a variety of kale options, mostly through its variety of salads and side dishes. But kale is also available in its Green Life Smoothie, featuring spinach, kale, pineapple, avocado, dates and coconut water. 

Besa 
Kale truly plays friendly with a variety of food, so it is fun to see Metro Detroit chefs come up with interesting new ways to serve it. At Besa, you will find Kale and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with cranberries, ricotta cheese and a pumpkin-seed vinaigrette. 

Parc Detroit 
Check out the Wood-Roasted Oysters, which are grilled with Seaweed butter, bacon, crispy kale and pickled shallots. There’s also Kale and Lentil Soup, featuring a seasonal vegetable sofrito, garam masala, braised kale, French lentils and crème fraiche.