A ruffled-leafed green vegetable that is a member of the cabbage family. With leaves that range in color from dark green to purple, kale is commonly used as a garnish for food presentation or as a cooked vegetable. The vegetable most often referred to as Kale has dark green leaves and can be eaten fresh or cooked as a side dish, providing a cabbage like taste. The stalks, which are generally tough, are usually discarded if they are more than 1/8 inch thick and only the leaf is eaten. Kale is also known as Borecole, Cow Cabbage or Kail.
Because of the frilly appearance of the leaves, all varieties of Kale can be used as a garnish to decorate food dishes and platters. However, Purple Kale is particularly decorative, due to the red and green colors in the leaves. Kale can be substituted with Collard Greens, Flowering Kale, Swiss Chard, Rapini, or Mustard Greens. Some of the other varieties of Kale include: Curley, Dinosaur (also known as Black Cabbage, Black Kale, Lacinato Kale, Black Tuscan Palm Tree Kale, or Cavolo Nero), Red Russian (also known as Ragged Jack Kale), and Purple Flowering Kale (also known as Ornamental Kale or Flowering Cabbage).