Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Simple Kale Salad

Kale...the dreaded leafy green.  Well, at least for me.  I've tried and tried to enjoy kale.  Kale chips; not a fan. Kale pesto; couldn't even finish it.  However, I wasn't willing to give up on it completely because I've had it mixed in with a salad and it was decent.  Kind of chewy, almost seaweed like, but edible.  I never would have tried this recipe on my own, but my mom sent it to me and said even my brother enjoyed it.  So, I added it to the ever growing pile of recipes to try.

Sadly, I was able to try several new recipes a couple weeks ago.  My flight to Chicago got cancelled due to the flooding and it was very sad.  Oh, sure, I was bummed because Josh was already there for a conference and now I was going to miss out on a fun weekend with him, but let's cut the sappy stuff and get to the point.  I was soooooo bummed because I had to cancel my RPM reservation.  Oh, the disappointment!  I only called in February to get my reservation!  So, instead of Mama DePandi's pasta and eggplant parmesan on Thursday evening I had kale salad.  Big letdown, I know.  

The good news is, I really enjoyed the salad!  I've made it two times since then and it's going to perfect this summer...by the pool...while reading a magazine...country music in the background...can't wait.  Where was I?  Oh yes, kale salad.  The dressing is so simple and healthy!  I always admire those people who eat a salad and they just put a little oil on top and then some lemon juice and salt and pepper.  Tried it.  Hated it.  I need a little something more than that!  The crazy thing is, that's really all the ingredients in this dressing, but I think the fact that it's all mixed up in the lettuce and I put some cheese and breadcrumbs on there it works.  I don't know how, but it works.  

I also did something to the kale I had never done before.  I knew you were supposed to remove the leaves from the stems, but for this recipe you massage the lettuce.  That's right, you work with it like you were making some bread dough.  Who knew?  Maybe I've been in la la land not knowing you were supposed to do this.  Hmmm.  Perhaps that's why I only like kale when someone else prepares it.  Clearly, I didn't know what I was doing.  Regardless, I found an easy salad that is delicious!  Although, I should put a small disclaimer in here.  I find it delicious.  You will find it delicious if you like salads and enjoy eating healthy.  If you're new to this leafy green thing-don't start with this one.  I will make it lots in the future, but it is a bit "healthy" tasting.  My favorite!

*Recipe from www.healthnutfoodie.com

(serves 4 side salads)

1 bunch green kale, organic if possible!

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2-2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. fresh ground black pepper

1 T. grated parmesan
1 T. toasted breadcrumbs

Use a paring knife to separate kale leaves from thick stems.  Wash and thoroughly dry kale leaves. Place kale in a large bowl and sprinkle with just a pinch of sea salt. (Less than 1/4 teaspoon.)  Tear kale into small pieces (1/2 inch-ish) and massage for 3 – 4 minutes. The kale will start to shrink down and reduce in volume.   
In a small glass jar with lid, shake together olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

Toss kale with dressing and 1 tbsp parmesan until every green is coated. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with breadcrumbs.  That's it.  Told you it was simple.  Enjoy!

I know kale isn't always a popular grocery store list item.  Just in case you are wondering what it looks like, here's my bunch of kale.

This is the thick stalk you need to cut the leaves away from.

My kale leaves before I "massaged" them.

My kale leaves after 3 minutes.  Notice how much they go down in volume.  That means you're doing it right!       

The pretty salad.  Someday I'll be cool and make some really delicious breadcrumbs. 

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