Kale-tasticPosted: August 24, 2012
Food confessional: Until this summer, I really didn’t know what to do with kale. It was just so…green…and big…and scary. So I basically avoided it for oh most of my life. Yes, I am someone interested in (generally) good eating (chocolate counts right?) and have been a mostly vegetarian (I still succumb to the occasional bacon) for over 30 years, but kale was on the list of things I didn’t understand and so I just avoided it.
And then I attended the Schmidt family cookathon at Different Drummers Kitchen in Albany and my life changed.
It was at this family cooking fest (created to honor the 50th birthday of my part-time roommate, Brigid) that I was introduced to a fantastic kale salad created by her son, Billy (who also cooked up some terrific sword fish steaks with a wonderful marinade). The foodathon itself was a festive affair where we watched Brigid make her incredible scones, followed by son Matt making killer cole slaw, daughter Beth cooking up pork chops with cherry chutney (I didn’t taste this one but if the oohs and aahs from everyone else are at all reliable, this was excellent) and daughter Sarah creating a fruit crisp (also fabulous). Frankly, I was pretty amazed to watch this cooking crew and felt more than one pang of regret that I clearly dropped the teaching-my-sons-to-cook ball in their formative years. (They have done their own laundry since they were 10, though, so I’m not a total loser here in the lifeskills department.)
Anyway we all got the recipes from the class and I decided to make this kale salad ASAP. Below is my variation on Billy’s recipe, which included sprouts, which I didn’t have. I decided to add a luscious ripe tomato instead. And that’s part of the fun of this salad — you can improvise a bit and still come up with something delicious. This is a keeper, folks.
Billy’s Raw Kale Salad
1 bunch kale
3/4 cup or so diced carrots
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 medium red onion, diced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 tomato, cut into bite-sized pieces
juice of one lemon
some glugs of extra virgin olive oil
pepper and salt to taste
Chop the kale into 2-3 inch pieces. Steam for 3-5 minutes so they’re still nice and green but not wilted.
Strain the beans, chop the carrots and cucumber, dice that onion, cut up that tomato, juice that lemon. Put it all in a bowl and add the lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste and serve.