Superfood, thy name is kale! You’d be hard pressed to find a more nutritious food than kale. In fact, nutrition researchers are still making new discoveries about just how awesome kale is for us. So far we know this: it has powerful anti-cancer and cholesterol lowering properties. It contains anti-inflammatory flavanoids, can help detoxify our bodies, support our cardiovascular system and even help repair our DNA! Plus it’s versatile, relatively inexpensive and doesn’t need an epic road trip or a plane ride to arrive on most of our wintertime plates looking fresh and adorably curly. Many of us can even grow our own kale throughout the winter. In fact, many gardeners swear their kale tastes sweeter after being exposed to frost.
I’m always on the lookout for new kale recipes. I had this one last week at my friend Colleen’s place. Seriously, she’s going to stop inviting me over; every time I go there I’m in full idea theft mode because she just does such cool stuff with food and her home. She served this salad with some baked salmon with chimichurri sauce and homemade bread with honey from her own bees. See why I’m always trying to cop her style?
Anyway, what I love about this salad is that it’s so simple. I took a bite and thought, ‘Oh, yes, I know how to do this.’ but somehow…I never have. From now on I will and I hope you will too. It’s the kind of salad that you make a big huge bowl of when you come home from a debaucherous mini-break in New Orleans or wherever and you just eat off it for three days until you feel all light and clean inside. Shall we begin?
Lemony Raw Kale Salad
1 bunch curly kale, ribs removed and ripped into bright size pieces Please use organic or better yet, home-grown kale. Conventional kale is found to have high pesticide residues
1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Zest of whole lemon
1 clove garlic, grated fine
1/4 cup-1/2 cup of bright colored fruit or vegetable, sliced thin Coleen used some bagged matchstick carrots, I had red pepper so I used that and last night I threw on some kiwi which was kind of fun
Half avocado, cut in slices or chunks, wait until just before serving to cut
1 tablespoon shaved parmesan cheese or 1 tablespoon hemp seeds, optional
In a medium bowl, preferably wooden or bright green ceramic(I find salad just tastes more green in a green bowl, personally I prefer Fiestaware) place lemon juice. Pour olive oil in in a thin stream while whisking into the lemon juice. Add garlic, salt and zest and whisk a little more. Put the kale in the bowl and, with clean hands, toss the salad while massaging the dressing into the kale leaves. Toss in your veggies last if they are quite firm( peppers or carrots) but put them on just before serving if they are more fragile(kiwi). Allow to rest at least two hours in the refrigerator. Remove from fridge 20 minutes or so before serving. Sprinkle parmesan cheese or hemp seeds over top and toss gently. Arrange sliced avocado over the top and serve.