Healthy Kale – The Queen Of Greens

Kale has become so popular, a greengrocer commented to me recently, “years ago nobody wanted it, now it’s walking out the door”.  It’s new status as the healthiest vegetable on the planet would have something to do with that of course.  The Queen Of Greens, it may provide significant health benefits including protection against cancer and lower cholesterol.  I was craving something super healthy for dinner yesterday, realised it was Wednesday so jumped in the car and headed to South Melbourne Market.

I wanted to buy some ingredients to make a dish I found on Gourmet Traveller’s website, Roast Ocean Trout with Kale, Fennel and Chickpeas.  Walking around browsing the different stalls, I soaked up the atmosphere of the market and came home with a box full of fish, vegetables, fruit, bread and flowers.

The fish mongers at South Melbourne Market sell the best fish, always fresh, shiny and melt in your mouth.  It’s the best fresh produce market in Melbourne.  I remember visiting as a child with my Mother often and being fascinated by all the different stalls and the buzz of the market.  It was a treat when we joined the always long queue for one of the famous Dim Sim’s at the end of our shopping.

healthy, easy, kale, kale recipes
healthy, easy, kale, kale recipes

healthy, easy, kale, kale recipes

Glistening fresh fish from the market and some dark leafy greens.

healthy, easy, kale, kale recipes

healthy, easy, kale, kale recipes

healthy, easy, kale, kale recipes

healthy, easy, kale, kale recipes

My family loved this dish, I’m looking forward to making it again.  Next time I’ll ask the fishmonger to pin bone the fish for me, I forgot and found it very difficult to pull the bones out myself without special fish bone tweezers.  By the way Kylie from the gorgeous blog Townmouse Countrymouse has written a beautiful piece on me, where I answer some foodie questions.  Here’s the link if you’d like to have a look and leave a comment.

Roast Ocean Trout With Kale, Fennel and Chickpeas

Serves 4

Olive oil
1 leek
2 baby fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve
1 bunch curly kale, coarsely torn into bite sized pieces
400gm can chickpeas
190ml chicken or vegetable stock
4 pieces skinless ocean trout fillets, pin-boned

Preheat oven to 200C.
Heat oil in a large saucepan, add leek and half the fennel and cook until tender.
Add garlic and half the lemon rind and cook for a further minute.
Add the kale, stir every now and then until just wilted.  Then add the chickpeas and stock, bring to simmer.  Season and keep warm.

Place Ocean Trout on a tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with olive oil and season.  Sprinkle with remaining lemon rind and roast for 8-10 minutes.

Add lemon juice to chickpea/kale mixture then divide among plates.  Top with trout and remaining fennel.  Serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller Magazine

Catherine x


  1. tina@colourlviing

    Ha, everywhere I look there is Kale…:-) I’ve been a fan of it for many years and buy all different varieties.
    Ha, I’ve made that dish many times, experimenting with salmon, cod and even seabass. Sometimes I exchange the chickpeas for broad beans or canellini beans.
    You can never go wrong with a healthy meal like that.
    Your photographs are stunning!!
    Will visit guest post over the weekend. It’s beautifully sunny here in London.

  2. Catherine

    Hi Tina, yes it’s become so popular. I guess everybody realises the health benefits of it now. I was thinking about exchanging the chickpeas for canellini beans, I’ll try that next time. Glad you like the photos and you’re having beautiful weather in London. Kylie would love you to visit her blog, thanks Tina. x

  3. Kylie

    Lovely post Catherine once again! We visited the Sth Melbourne Markets on saturday on our brief overnite stay to Melbourne- It has changed so much since I was last there 10 years ago. Just loved it and so wished we had bought a big esky with us especially to stock up on the fish. And shoulders of lamb at $9.99 a kilo! wow! Your dish sounds yummy and will file away to trial. We have a travelling fishmonger that comes to town once a week so will see what goodies he has caught to play with! Ive only ever had kale in juice or baked into chips. How does it steam/cook down? I cant help but feel like it would be prickly to eat….I need to try it though! Thank you also for mentioning the guest post…..xx

    1. Catherine

      Thanks Kylie, wow 10 years ago, that is a long time. Kale doesn’t cook down as quickly as spinach so needs to be cooked for longer. It’s not prickly to eat, it’s worth giving it a try to see what you think. So glad you liked South Melbourne Market and enjoyed your time in Melbourne. xx

  4. Mel

    The recipe looks and sounds divine! I’ve never cooked kale other than throwing it in a veggie curry or making kale chips so I might give this a try. Mel xx
    P.S. Charlie is way too cute in these photos.

    1. Catherine

      Hi Mel, it’s a great recipe if you feel like something healthy for dinner. Ocean Trout has to be one of the best tasting fish in the ocean. Have to get a few Charlie shots here and there, he’s always milling around. xx

  5. alison abbott

    Catherine, I am definitely riding the wave of Kale’s popularity. We probably eat it al least once a week, and I am glad you’ve given me another recipe to add to the repertoire. This looks great. I thought you had substituted salmon for the trout, but re-reading see this is ocean trout. Does it taste like salmon? I’ve never had it before. My favorite kale right now is a kale and Brussels sprout salad. Can’t get enough! Love how you have mixed the recipe post with the roses.

    1. Catherine

      Hi Alison, ocean trout is delicious it has a more subtle flavour than salmon but is very similar, you could of course use salmon in this recipe as well. I’m going to start cooking with kale once a week as well, the health benefits are to good to ignore. x

  6. e / dig in hobart

    i love kale and am a bit miffed that due to poor garden planning, i have none in at the moment! i love its strong flavour; i like to saute it with other punchy ingredients like garlic, ginger and soy. and chickpeas. oh, i miss kale!
    and how lovely to come home from the market with those gorgeous pink roses. they go with the kale beautifully.

  7. Lauren

    Wow! Kale is everywhere these days isn’t it? I like it because it holds up so well in a salad. It’s hard to pass out cooked greens in this house (unless they’re collards cooked in A LOT of bacon fat…that’s a true dish from the American South, and not a healthy green AT ALL!), but salad-y greens we have no problem with !

    1. Catherine

      Hi Lauren, it sure is, I’ve just started cooking with it myself and want to start using it in more recipes. Yes it can be a struggle getting family members to “eat their greens”, thank goodness for salads. xx

  8. Noreen

    It looks delicious, Catherine! Your blog is lovely these days. It always was, but I love the new cover art. I’ve been making a kale shake each morning for my teen and me. It gets some veggies into us before the day really starts. Joy to you! Noreen

  9. Doreen@househoneys

    Isn’t it amazing the turn around that kale has experienced! I’ve always liked it, but there was a time I couldn’t even find it, now everyone carries it. Trout is one of my favorite foods Catherine, and this is a recipe I will be pinning and more importantly, making it!

    (Beautiful pics!)

    1. Catherine

      It is amazing Doreen, I never cooked with it in the past myself but now find I’m trying it in different recipes. So glad you’re going to make this recipe, would love to know how it turns out. Thanks Doreen.

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