Friday, September 23, 2011

Massaged Kale Salad

Jennie Cook, a local caterer who catered our July 4, 2010 party for the Food & Flowers Freedom Act, recently introduced me to Massaged Kale Salad. What a revelation it was! By simply spending a few minutes literally playing with your food, you can create an amazingly delicious raw kale salad which serves as a blank slate for any number of additional ingredients.

A little crumbled blue cheese, toasted walnuts, and diced fresh apple or pear adds up to one tasty version. Vegans might prefer chopped sun-dried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts. Sprinkle in a bit of garam masala and toss in peeled and sliced mango and a handful of raisins and you've got something with Indian flavors. Whatever you decide to do, it won't take more than a few minutes to pull the whole salad together.My recipe uses another of today's CSA bounty - grapes.
Their sweetness is a nice counterpoint to the tartness of the lemon juice and the slight bitterness of the kale.

1 bunch kale (6 large leaves or more)
2 t extra virgin olive oil
scant 1/2 t salt
1 generous t lemon juice
1/2 C halved grapes, or more to taste
3-4 T shelled toasted pistachio nuts
pepper to taste

1. Wash and dry the kale leaves. Remove the leaves from the stalks. Slice the leaves crosswise in approximately 1/2 inch pieces. [This is called a chiffonade.] Compost the stems.

2. Turn the kale leaves into a large bowl. Add the olive oil, salt, and lemon juice. With clean hands, gently massage the salt, oil, and juice into the kale leaves for 1-3 minutes, until the kale is approximately half the volume it started out. You can massage a little more or less to your taste.

3. Toss in the sliced grapes and nuts. Grate in a little fresh pepper. Add the salt, if necessary.

That's it! You can add a little crumbled goat cheese if you'd like. This recipe makes 2 very generous servings or 4 smaller ones.

Today's bounty included:

From Underwood Family Farms: Romaine and red leaf lettuce, red and purple bell peppers, Brandywine tomatoes, green cabbage, bi-color corn, kale, Easter radishes, Galia melons, round carrots, and raspberries.

From Sage Mountain Farm: Cucumbers, collard greens, Cherry Belle radishes, heirloom melons, and mixed heirloom tomatoes.

From Sweet Tree Farm: Red Flame grapes, white nectarines, and yellow peaches.

And from Silver Lake Farms: Mustard and basil microgreens.



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