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Posts Tagged ‘Tuscan Kale’

Winter Salad with a Kumquat Vinaigrette | Relishing It

Apparently I’ve been craving a little color lately.  I recently bought a couple of brightly colored sweaters (orange and electric blue).  I just replaced my everyday-lipstick with a few colors that have a bit more pizzazz.  Yep, I just need to see a bit more color this time of year.  The dull gray skies and monotonous white snow just don’t do it for me by late January.   So…this colorful salad fits the bill perfectly.  And aside from the visual beauty, this one is delicious.  I could eat it every day.  Actually, I pretty much did for month straight last year.

Winter Salad with a Kumquat Vinaigrette | Relishing It

Winter Salad with a Kumquat Vinaigrette | Relishing It

Let’s start with the red cabbage.  I rely on it a lot during winter.  It tastes great, works both hot or cold, and it can hang out it your refrigerator for a while.  This last reason is important, because if you don’t happen to want to eat a salad every day, this ingredient will be waiting for you.  Tuscan kale is another great ingredient.  It’s perfect in soups or massaged and made into a simple salad.  Red peppers were on sale at our co-op the other day, so I bought a few of those too.  My kids love to snack on them all summer long, but they go through withdrawal in winter.  They were probably happier than I was when I brought them home.

Winter Salad with a Kumquat Vinaigrette | Relishing It

Finally, I present to you the kumquats.  They have such a fresh, powerful citrus flavor.  Take a look at this kumquat marmalade that I shared here a while back.  Kumquats always remind me of sunshine, which is obviously just what I need right now.  They’re sweet, tangy, and so fragrant.  I love them thinly sliced and tossed into salads– no need to peel them.  Just remove the few tiny seeds that will be inside. In this recipe, I blend them up (peel too) into a delicious vinaigrette that goes perfectly with any winter salad.  I also add a touch of honey to it to bring out the sweetness a bit more.  It’s a bit on the thick side for a vinaigrette, because the acidic component (the kumquats) is blended whole– but I think it’s absolutely lovely and the hearty winter vegetables work well with it.  The almonds are the perfect finishing touch to the salad.  I hope you give this little salad a try if you need to brighten up your day– I bet it will.  Enjoy!

Winter Salad with a Kumquat Vinaigrette | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Winter Salad with a Kumquat Vinaigrette

Serves 2

For the Vinaigrette:

10 kumquats, cut and seeded (leave the peel on)

1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot, white, or red onion

1 teaspoon honey

pinch of kosher salt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the Salad:

About half of a small red cabbage, cored and finely sliced

handful of Tuscan kale (6-7 stalks) stems removed and thinly sliced into ribbons OR a handful of fresh spinach

1/2 red pepper, julienned

handful of almonds, coarsely chopped

3-4 kumquats, seeded and thinly sliced

To make the vinaigrette, place the kumquats into a small food processor and pulse a few times until they are finely chopped.  Add the shallot, honey, and salt.  Pulse a few more times until nearly smooth.  Add the olive oil and blend.  This vinaigrette will remain somewhat thick.  Adjust salt, if necessary.

It’s best to place your salad ingredients (sans almonds and kumquats) into a bowl and pour the vinaigrette on top of them.  Toss to coat.  Plate the salads and top with the almonds and kumquats.  Leftover vinaigrette can be stored covered in the refrigerator.  Let it come to room temperature before using.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!  Have a wonderful weekend.

xo

Laurie

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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!

Laurie

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