It’s too hot to cook & now I have kale.


Photo of salad

 

This recipe is a modification of a recipe from Deb Perelman at Smitten Kitchen (who I trust endlessly & highly recommend her website & books).  I’ve been making it so long I don’t really recipe it anymore & in my opinion, it’s one of the best uses of raw kale. It’s pretty quick to make (even though it seems like a lot of things, most of them can be done concurrently & it’s worth it!) plus it makes you feel like you’ve eaten something both healthy & delicious- which is usually my goal.  It also involves pantry staples & highlights some nice offerings here at HL.

 

  • ½ cup of nuts or seeds (I’m big on pepitas & sunflower seeds but sliced almonds, walnuts or pecan pieces work great too.)
  • ¼ - ½ cup of dried fruit (Deb likes raisins, I’m distinctly a no raisin person & go dried cranberries, but dried blueberries would be awesome or cherries)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic or some kind of nice vinegar (quantity depends on your fruit quantity)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of water (quantity depends on fruit quantity)
  • ¼ cup of panko or blitz up some bread at home coarsely
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • Kosher salt (diamond crystal is great here!)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil (our EVOO is perfect here)
  • 1 bunch of kale – any kind is great! This week we are sending out red kale & it’s aces!
  • A salty cheese- I’ve been using our vacche rossa since we got it in & it’s lovely but asiago, pecorino, parm of any kind or even something like manchego totally works. Salty & dry is what you are looking for.
  • Half a lemon, juiced
  • Pepper in everything


    Nuts or seeds: toast in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 (too hot outside currently imho) or toast in a pan on the stovetop. Stir often. Remove from the pan once toasted or they’ll keeping browning on you & can risk burning. Chop if using whole nuts.


    Dried fruit: warm the water & vinegar together either on the stovetop or microwave. Add fruit & leave to plump up & get that vinegary zing that’s going to balance the fats in this salad. Drain right before adding to the salad & only add the fruit. (If you like a zingy dressing you can add a little splash of this vinegar mixture to your salad at the end & it’s great- especially if you have a rad vinegar [vom fass in the Distillery has such awesome vinegars. If you are a salad person or a vinegar person check them out]. But it’s also fine to go with the lemon juice which is great with kale & salty cheese)


    Crumbs: Toast crumbs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic & pinch of salt & pepper together in your seed toasting pan. Get a nice brown on your crumb. Remove from heat & set aside.


    Kale: wash & attempt to dry your kale but don’t obsess. It’ll be fine. Everyone has their way of removing kale stems. I just rip the leaves from the stem. Some folks prefer to carefully cut the stems away. I like to keep the stems & add them to stir fry, pastas or sauces but if you feel like that’s too much remembering, then throw them in the organic bin. Take the kale leaves, roll them into a tube & slice as finely as you have the patience for. Dump the kale into a large salad bowl add the squeezed lemon juice & 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of salt & some grinds of pepper. I like to squeeze the dressing into the kale. I find it helps break down the leaves & makes them more pleasant to eat but if you aren’t into kale massage, tossing will do.


    Final Steps: add everything into the bowl- cheese, breadcrumbs, nuts & fruit. The cheese has no measurement because I don’t judge about cheese. Add what makes you happy. Just remember it’s adding salt so tone down any additional seasoning you do. I tend to go for ¼ to ½ a cup but it’s your salad. Toss it altogether. Add a little dab more lemon (here is where you could add that splash of your vinegar mixture) or olive oil & check your seasoning. 


    I find this keeps in the fridge just fine for at least 1 if not 2 days & the flavours get all mixed up & the kale gets nice & soft. It also makes a great wrap the next day with hummus or chicken or you can add half an avocado & take it for lunch. 
    If you still don’t like kale, I’m sorry. I tried! Oh, well I know this soup we can try in the fall…


    Stay cool & be safe,
    Alexi


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