Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Kale salad

I had a delicious kale salad at a potluck so I came home and tried to recreate it.  I was previously not a fan of kale, because it's nasty. But in doing some research, I learned that I just wasn't treating it right.  I learned a lot making this salad. First, kale is cheap!  I got a whole huge bunch of it for 99 cents, and it was even organic!  I'm not one of those "must eat organic" people, but it was the same price as the pesticide-laden version, so I went organic. 

The biggest thing I learned is that kale likes to be massaged.  Who doesn't?  You're supposed to drizzle it with olive oil, sprinkle it with kosher salt, and massage it for three to five minutes.  It undergoes a miraculous change!  It gets darker and smaller (wilts just a little), and doesn't taste bitter at all anymore.  There's some scientific reason for the change, but I don't remember what it is, because I didn't really care.  Something about breaking down cell walls.  In the picture, the leaves on the left have been rinsed and removed from the stalky ribs. The ones on the right have been massaged for a few minutes. 
They already have oil and salt on them, so I just added a little pepper and apple cider vinegar, and there you go: dressing. Then I added in the fun stuff:  diced apples (which I swished around in lemon juice so they wouldn't turn brown--also the lemon juice adds a bit of yum to the dressing), dried cranberries, feta cheese (which I thought I hated, but it is a must in this salad!), toasted pecans, red grapes, strawberries, and green onions. The beauty of kale is that it is hearty and stays good for several days in the fridge, even with the dressing on it.  I've been making one of these at the beginning of the week and eating it all week long.
I'm not one of those "I'll just have a salad for a meal" kind of girls, but this is so darn tasty and filling that I actually do. To make up for it, I feel free to have a big fat brownie with ice cream for dessert.

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