Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Massaged Kale Salad

When Charlie and I went to his cousin's graduation party, one of the items on the amazing menu was a delicious fresh kale salad.  Charlie and I both loved it.  When I inquired after the recipe, Charlie's aunt told me that she bought the salad at a local deli.  Oh dear!  I didn't let that stop me, however, and when we got home, I experimented until I thought my kale salad tasted just about the same.

To start, make the vinaigrette in a blender and let it rest on the counter for 30 to 60 minutes.

Then, collect the kale.  Here we have a bowl full of kale fresh from the garden.


Then (and I didn't get pictures because I forgot to), the vinaigrette is massaged into the fresh kale until the kale is slightly wilted (just a couple of minutes).  Walnuts or pecans or almonds (whatever nut you have around) and cranraisins are stirred in and the salad is ready to serve!  For dinner this night, we also had grilled lamb chops and an experimental/tasty new mashed potato dish (recipe coming soon!). 

Massaged Kale Salad

  • 8-ish ounces fresh kale
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about one large lemon)
  • 3 tablespoons onion, finely minced (I used purple onion, but sweet white onion might be better?)
  • 1 garlic scape, roughly chopped (or, 1 small clove of garlic may be used, to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fresh black pepper (or to taste)
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey (to taste)
  • 2-4 tablespoons walnuts (or pecans, or almonds, or whatever sounds good to you)
  • 2-4 tablespoons cranraisins 

For vinaigrette, combine lemon juice, onion, garlic scape or clove, salt, pepper and honey in blender.  Blend thoroughly, until everything is well chopped up.  Slowly stream in olive oil, only blending until the mixture is emulsified.  I have found that if I blend olive oil too long, it tends to get bitter.  Set the dressing aside (at room temperature) for thirty minutes to an hour so the flavors combine nicely. I found that if you refrigerate this dressing, it will separate into an icky, gross, watery mixture, so not refrigerate!

Prepare the kale leaves by washing them thoroughly, cutting away and removing the tough stems.  Cut or rip the leaves into bite-sized pieces, and place them in a large salad bowl.
Just before you are ready to eat, drizzle the vinaigrette over the kale.  Using clean hands, gently give your kale a massage with the dressing. Add the nuts and cranraisins and mix into the salad.  Serve immediately.
Note: though you can refrigerate the leftovers, this salad isn't as good the next day.  If you do have to save some, make sure to pull it out of the fridge about a half hour before you want to eat it, to let the olive oil warm up slightly.

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