Crazy for Kale

January 21, 2013

20130121-084029.jpg 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!