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What Can’t Kale Do?

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Five Shades of Kale  

It’s hardly surprising that Ramsey has gotten drunk on kale. In a section titled “Naughty and Nice,” Fifty Shades has recipes for a kale pisco sour, a green Bloody Mary, a cherry-kale Campari, and a kalejito. There’s also one of Ramsey’s personal favorites, a recipe for a kale-infused “Lacchiato”—“It’s been my fantasy. I keep waiting for Starbucks to call me and have Lacchiato be my first licensing agreement.” Not that all his forays into kale experimentation have been successful. He once tried to make a smoothie out of only the stems. “That was no good. I took it too far.”

While Ramsey takes heart in kale’s current pride of place on New York plates, he knows the infatuation might not last. “I fear kale backlash. I’ve had some great experiences with kale in the city, and I’ve also had some that are just not a good representation of the plant.” As a way to make kale a permanent way of life, he’s petitioned to make October 2 National Kale Day. “You know, there’s National Doughnut Day. Why not solidify kale’s place in our palate?” In his psychotherapy sessions, he often “prescribes” kale to his patients as a way of improving mood. If this were not enough, he says it has libido-improving qualities as well, since its slow release of carbohydrates combats the adrenal fatigue that can lead to a low sex drive. The original e-book had a “kale-rotica” essay in it “about a love affair with a kale plant that I wrote late one night.”

Up on the roof, it’s starting to sprinkle, and so, our plates cleared, we head downstairs to make a blueberry-kale smoothie for dessert. In the elevator, a woman eyes our stacks of plates and asks, “What’s for dinner?” Ramsey gives her a winning smile.

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