If you happen to have gorged on too much of this dip from Friday’s post, have no fear. Today it’s all about health food. This light, fresh, kale salad is one of my favorites. Kale is one of those all-important super foods that is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. Here is a little run-down on just how good it is for you. Personally, I probably eat more kale than any other vegetable. It’s such an important part of my daily diet, that I eat nearly one bunch per day– by myself. We also make kale chips very often. My three-year old loves them, and despite the fact that Radd jokes about ‘being forced to eat kale’, he likes them too.
I think the way people view kale has changed significantly in the last decade or so. In college I worked for the university dining service. I remember being told to put the kale all around the salad bar to make it look “pretty”. It was never prepared for a meal, but strictly used as a garnish because it was green and firm. I’m glad that we’ve moved past the “kale-as-a-garnish” phase. It’s so delicious, and so good for you.
On to this fantastic salad. If you haven’t eaten raw kale before, this Tuscan kale salad is a great place to start. The salad really highlights the wonderful aspects of raw kale– though note that this salad really should only be made with Tuscan kale. It’s the variety that is tender enough to still be edible uncooked. The dressing is a perfect match. I’ve made it with each of the three cheeses, listed below. They all work wonderfully. I love the fact that the cheese is mixed right into the dressing– it makes it a bit creamier. Also, I tend to like things a little heavy on the garlic-side. If you don’t , adjust to your particular taste. The toasted bread crumbs are a nice touch as well. They add that little textural crunch, without resorting to whole oil-ladened croutons. Give this salad a try– you’ll like it.
The Recipe: Raw Tuscan Kale Salad
1 bunch Tuscan kale (also know as black, dinosaur, or lacinato)
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (grand padano or pecorino work well, too)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
To make the breadcrumbs: Tear the piece of bread into small sections and place in a mini- food processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture resembles small breadcrumbs. Place the breadcrumbs into a small skillet on medium heat. Stir frequently and toast them until they are crunchy, but not burnt, just a couple of minutes. Remove them from the heat and set aside.
To make the dressing: Using a chef’s knife, mince then mash the garlic glove and place into a medium-sized bowl. Add the salt and mix it together until a paste forms. Add the cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, cracked black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Whisk to combine. Taste. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.
To make the salad: Wash and remove the thick “stem” from the center of the kale leaves and discard. Cut the kale into thin ribbons. Place the kale in a large salad bowl and pour some of the dressing on it. Mix well, as the dressing is thick. I tend not to use the entire amount of dressing on my salad, though you may enjoy your salads more dressed than I do. Let the salad sit for about 5 minutes (if you can wait, I usually can’t) and top with the whole wheat bread crumbs. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Melissa Clark’s In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite
I hope the start to your week is a great one — thanks for stopping by!
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