Hipster alert: kale, morogo and the other new greens

Hipster this, hipster that. Everything seems to be about cool people hanging out at trendy new places, drinking craft beer and eating fashionable food like super-sized Naughty Pork gourmet hot dogs. And many of them will certainly be hanging out at The Secret Festival this weekend.

Maybe food trends should be called hipster food tends. One of them seems to be green leaves. I suppose it’s all the vivid green chlorophyll that chefs are using at the moment.

Two in particular are hard to find: kale and morogo. Deep fried and spiced, both are delicious as cocktail snacks. I haven’t been able to find much kale, except at a market last weekend, and while morogo is commonly available up north it’s not really in stores here. You can sometimes buy it just outside Cape Town station, brought in by local farmers.

The third fancy green leaf is abundant in gardens and is thick on roadsides at the moment. Nasturtium leaves and their flowers are quite astringent but can work when combined with certain flavours.

A few weeks ago I hosted a secret dinner as part of the build up to The Secret Festival and took inspiration from chef PJ Vadas at Camphors. As part of tasty bits and bobs, PJ offered a puddle of strawberry purée with some nasturtium leaves on the side that you swipe across the purée. It’s a delicious combination, especially with slices of Serrano ham that I served with mine.

Last week as I was leaving The Greenhouse after tasting one half of our dessert on the menu for The Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards, made by Amy Young and Peter Tempelhoff. Just down the road from the restaurant, three chefs were foraging away for nasturtium leaves to be made into a very green mousse.

If you want to taste and see the other half of the dessert, made by David Higgs and Minette Smith of Five Hundred at The Saxon, there are a few tickets still available. Dinner will be the best Sunday carvery ever – including, of course, some greens!




Photograph: St0rmz

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