Have you ever wondered what it’s like to cook with Tuscan kale?
This leafy green vegetable, also known as lacinato kale or dinosaur kale, has a unique dark hue and green-blue spines that make it one of the most attractive ingredients in any recipe.
Not only is Tuscan kale versatile, but it’s also surprisingly easy to use and can be added to virtually any dish.
If you’re new to using this type of kale, there are plenty of simple recipes that allow you to experience the deliciousness of Tuscan kale without a lot of fuss.
For those unable to find Tuscan kale at their local grocery store, there are five great substitute options available.
Let’s take a closer look at these five substitutes for Tuscan kale.
What is Tuscan Kale?
Tuscan Kale, formerly known as Dinosaur Kale, is one of the most popular kinds of kale out there.
Originating in Italy, it is also referred to as cavolo nero – meaning black cabbage – due to its dark color.
It has long, frilly-edged leaves, which makes it a standout ingredient when used in salads or other dishes.
The taste is earthy and robust with a slightly bitter aftertaste which mellows out during cooking.
It has a pleasantly crunchy texture that adds great substance to whatever dish you use it in.
You can sauté this variety of kale for about 6 minutes until just softened; however, steaming for 4-5 minutes tends to bring out the best flavors.
Add some nuts, seeds, or fruits to perk up any salad made with Tuscan kale, and make your next meal a nutrient-packed hit.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Tuscan Kale
If you’re looking for a great alternative to Tuscan kale, you’ve come to the right place.
Whether you’re short on time or simply can’t find this leafy green in your area, there are plenty of alternatives that will still bring flavor and nutrition to your plate.
Here is a list of our top five best substitutes for Tuscan kale:
1 – Baby Spinach Leaves
Baby spinach leaves are a delicious and healthful way to add some green to your life.
With a mild, sweet flavor and tender texture, they make a great addition to smoothies and salads alike.
They can also be used in omelets or as a vegetable side dish – sautéed with fresh garlic for an extra layer of flavor or simply steamed for a light and cozy feel.
Baby spinach adds antioxidants like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, folate, calcium, and iron that help power our bodies throughout the day without feeling weighed down by heavy meals.
Give your diet a boost with this vibrant green – you’ll never look back.
2 – Collard Greens
Collard greens are an incredibly nutritious, flavorful, and versatile vegetable.
Belonging to the cruciferous family of vegetables, collard greens are rich in calcium, vitamins A and C, as well as dietary fiber.
With dark green leaves and firm stems that give off a slightly sour yet earthy flavor, collard greens have a texture similar to kale and cabbage.
Delicious when wilted inside tacos or sandwiches, these greens also add great earthy flavor when added to salads or used as wraps itself.
To cook collard greens at home, try sautéing with garlic, onion, and olive oil for about 7-10 minutes for the best results – it is truly delicious.
3 – Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is a vibrant, leafy vegetable that is intensely flavorful and incredibly versatile.
It’s packed with plenty of iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C, making it an incredibly nutritious addition to any meal.
Its leaves have ridged centers with delicious crunchy stems with a vibrant mixture of colors ranging from bright greens to deep purples.
Swiss chard has a unique sweet flavor that blends well with many different seasonings.
It pairs wonderfully with aromatic herbs like rosemary or thyme, complemented by the sharpness of garlic or onions when cooked.
The texture of Swiss chard can be cooked until wilted or left crunchier, depending on preferences.
It can be used in salads, soups, and stews or as part of a mix of quiche and pizza creations.
4 – Mustard Greens
Mustard Greens can be considered a sensation in the culinary world.
Not only do they offer an array of health benefits and vitamins, but they also have a delicious, unique flavor.
The texture alone is enough to mesmerize you with its crispness.
To take advantage of its salty-sweet nuance and spicy overtones, try serving them raw, just like you would spinach or kale in salads, sandwiches, or wraps.
If you decide to cook it, prepare to enjoy its mushroom-ish notes developed through quick sautéing in oil or stir-frying for about 10 minutes.
Mustard Greens is truly an exciting ingredient to work with that can turn any dish into an eye-catching plate with its gorgeous vibrant leaves.
5 – Chinese Broccoli
It’s hard to imagine Chinese food without Chinese broccoli.
Its flavor adds a unique umami dimension to every dish, and its crunchy texture adds a perfect textural component that creates a balanced dish that is sure to live up to all expectations.
The mild herbal taste of steamed Chinese broccoli with garlic stir-fry has something magical about it – it’s like tasting the elusive combination of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter notes at the same time.
You can sliver the stems for a stir fry with mushrooms or add florets for an updated version of your favorite chicken or beef dish.
Mixing it with glass noodles and soy sauce brings out even more umami flavors and makes every bite irresistible.
Nothing compares to the cooked perfection of this underrated vegetable that leaves no plate unfinished.
In conclusion, Tuscan Kale may be a popular choice for many, but there are plenty of other leafy green veggies that pack just as much flavor and even more nutrition.
You can use baby spinach, collard greens, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens, or Chinese broccoli to replace Tuscan Kale in your recipes, and you won’t be sorry.
Try one of these options today and taste the difference for yourself – you won’t regret it.