Saturday, August 25, 2012
This week we received a bundle of Curly Kale in our CSA box along with a recipe from Hannah for kale salad. Denis isn’t a big fan of kale, and I mostly like the idea of it more than the actual thing. However, I try to be a fan because kale is full of vitamins and powerful anti-cancer properties and many other things that are GOOD for you, dear. Perhaps I’m late to the table, but I have found two surprising new ways to actually enjoy it as food, not medicine.
I’ve made lots of kale chips this summer. Easy. Cut off stems and slice up the sides of the larger ribs, discard, cut or tear the remaining leaf into 2 inch squares. Toss in a bowl with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Optional: grate on a little parmesan cheese. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes or until crunchy. They will turn dark. Store in a zip-lock bag to keep crisp.
The other new way to serve is as a salad which retains all its raw goodness. Honest, this could make a kale-lover out of the most picky critic. With friends for dinner the other night, I made this and not a bite was left over. In the past, I’ve tried it as a salad and it just didn’t work. Too tough and had a bitter flavor. But this was fabulous. You should try it.
Raw Tuscan Salad
1 bunch Tuscan kale (This is a more tender variety, but others can be substituted.)
¼ c homemade garlic bread crumbs
1 clove garlic
¼ c finely grated pecorino (or other sharp cheese such as asiago or parmesan)
3 T olive oil
Fresh squeezed juice of 1 lemon (I used a lime)
¼ t kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Trim lower stem and larger ribs off kale and discard. Slice kale into ¾ wide ribbons. Place kale in large bowl. Using a mortar and pestle or back of a knife, pound garlic into a paste. Transfer garlic to a small bowl. Add ¼ cup chees, oil, juice, etc. Whisk to combine. Pour dressing over kale and toss very well to coat leaves. Let salad sit for 5 minutes, serve topped with a few more bread crumbs, another dash of olive oil, and a sprinkle of additional cheese.