Just can’t seem to get enough kale. Love it. So healthy for you. So filling. What I also love about it is how well it keeps in the fridge. I bought a good sized bunch the day we got back from New York almost 2 weeks ago. Still was going strong when I took it out yesterday to make a little salad to take to the shop. Kale is also so great as it does not wilt easily, making it super transportable for salads for lunch, picnics, whenever. I just put the vinaigrette in the container first on the bottom and put the kale directly on top. When I am ready to serve it, I just shake the whole thing around, and the salad becomes perfectly dressed.
For the vinaigrette, maple syrup helps tremendously to add a bit of sweetness and take away any bitter the kale might have. In a bowl add a big dollop of Dijon mustard. To that add a few good glugs of maple syrup. Then the juice of one lemon. Salt & pepper. Then whisk in extra virgin olive oil until it all incorporates. Finally add Parmesan that has been grated super fine. Combine all for a flavorful vinaigrette.
I most times like to add dried cherries or cranberries to the salad. Yesterday it was cherries. Tear up kale into bite sized pieces, being sure to omit the tough spine. I just tear around the spine and discard them. Once all is mixed together, add another sprinkling of Parm to the top of the salad. I had it alongside Beecher’s mac & cheese, for a hearty, tasty lunch on a rainy day at the shop.
Ahhhh, simple luxuries. The above white truffle butter is one of those things I like to have sitting in the fridge waiting for a big steaming bowl of pasta or a big bowl of popcorn. A few spoonfuls can transform both. Of course, buying truffles can set you back quite a few bills, but this truffle butter (and there are several fab brands out there, this is a current favorite) is not expensive by comparison, usually around $6 to $8. It lasts quite awhile, packs a serious truffle punch, and you really only need to use a little to really infuse the truffle essence. TPS was at a fundraiser dinner the other evening that I was not able to attend. When I got home from working late, I knew I really wanted a hearty, comforting meal after a long day. We still had some of the amazing fresh eggs that were a gift that I wrote about a week or so ago, as well as a baguette that was needing to be eaten that night. Scrambled eggs it would be! Growing up, my Dad would make us scrambled eggs for supper on occasion. It always makes me think of him when I have them for dinner. Here is a quick take on making eggs a simple luxury meal really at any time of the day.
Turn oven to 400 degrees while you cut up the baguette to bite sized cubes. Scatter on a baking pan. Dose with a healthy amount of extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. Put in oven, keeping a close eye on them, being sure to turn them every so often to ensure they don’t burn and that they brown evenly. When they are close to the brown-ness you like, sprinkle a generous portion of freshly grated Parmesan over the whole lot, letting that melt into the cubes. Take out of oven and set aside while you scramble the eggs. Yes, these make a very good thing to snack on as you scramble said eggs. Next, break 3 eggs into a bowl and whisk adding a splash of milk, S&P. On very low heat, add the egg mixture to a waiting buttered pan being sure to fold often with a spatula so the eggs don’t overcook. Cooking them on a low heat really helps that process of not overcooking them. Once done, take off of heat and add a big dollop of the truffle butter and mix throughout the scrambled eggs. I like both the white and the black truffle butter, but this go round, we had white in the fridge. Spoon over the croutons that you have put onto a plate. Get ready for some flavor explosions. I adore this combo. The earthiness of the truffle mixed with the fluffiness of the eggs mixed with the sweetness of the Parm on the croutons with a hint of the olive oil that has infused into the bread. Just so darn good. Pairs beautifully with a glass of champagne or white wine.
We had a marvelous loaf of brioche that for whatever reason did not get finished before it started to get a tad stale. This is the perfect time to whip up a quick batch of croutons. Easiest damn thing really. I had made a pot of pea soup and thought the brioche croutons would be tasty heaped on top for a little extra flavor. That was also the reason to polish up the English soup spoons from the post yesterday.
Heat oven to 375 while you cut up the brioche into bit sized pieces. Layout on a baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. Take a chunk of Parm, and with a microplane or grater, grate a layer over the bread. With a spatula or large spoon mix all around. Repeat above process so everything is nicely coated. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, checking along the way, for the level of crunchiness you desire. I don’t love my croutons super hard, and the sweet softness of the brioche lends itself to these being on the softer side. Your call. Once out of the oven and into a bowl, grate another layer of cheese on top. These are also a great addition to a salad, or just ‘as-is’ for a little snack if you are feeling a bit peckish. Enjoy!
Happy Saturday, TKW
I have just been seeing the most glorious varieties of kale this past month. Kale makes such a hearty salad, I thought I would make one to go with chicken cacciatore last night. Not only is kale tasty, it is really healthy, a ‘superfood’ as of late. As are walnuts, which are a particular favorite in our house. Here is what I made to have alongside our chicken dish.
Cut or tear kale into bite sized pieces and put into a large bowl. Be sure to omit using the hard, long spine of the kale. Add a handful of chopped walnuts. I like to dry pan roast the nuts for a few minutes to bring out the oils. Not necessary, but I think it adds flavor. Add a handful of whatever type of raisin you like to the bowl. Then microplane a good amount of Parm. I like the lightness it adds. Fine to use a grater too. The Parmigiano-Reggiano adding the perfect balance to the slightly bitter kale.
For the vinaigrette, add to a small bowl 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, juice of a freshly squeezed lemon, a big dollop of Dijon, along with 2 pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper. Whisk in extra virgin olive oil to the consistency you desire. Add all to the kale mixture and toss.
For this salad you really can mix & match. Use pecans or hazelnuts in place of the walnuts. Use dried cherries or cranberries in place of the raisins. It is such a hearty, satisfying salad to whip up. Enjoy!