Kale has many different varieties, but the two kinds found most often in stores are curly-leaf and lacinato (also called dinosaur or Tuscan) kale. In general, varieties of kale can be used interchangeably in recipes, though some prefer lacinato kale for raw recipes.
When preparing kale for cooking, make sure to wash it thoroughly, as grit can easily hide among the curly leaves. The stems are typically tough and slightly bitter, so strip off the leaves and discard the stems (or use the stems in an easy pesto recipe!).
Kale, like other greens, cooks down quite a bit. Make sure you have enough room in your pot for cooking, or add the kale in batches as it reduces.
Kale is excellent in raw salads or even as a snack with homemade kale chips. Ingredients such as tahini and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese are natural parings.