Kale is the green I thought I didn't like. It's the one I have to convince more people to try than any other green. And, without fail, this salad turns them around. It turned me into a Kale lover, too. This is now my go-to healthy salad. When I've been pushing a few too many cupcakes or carbs into my mouth, my body starts to crave the fresh, lemony crunch of these iron filled leaves. This recipe is from the wonderful chef at Miraval Wellness Resort in Arizona. He was generous enough to share several recipes with us during a "Dinner with the Chef" night and I've blogged about a few of them. One of the best things about this Kale Salad, is how well it holds. It just doesn't get soggy. It makes a fantastic salad for catering or bringing over to a friend's house, or being able to prep the salad early for a meal.
You can also make the vinaigrette the night before, toast the panko crumbs the night before, and strip the leaves into bite-size pieces the night before and be ready to just toss and taste the next day.
Even after tossing together, the flavors actually blend better with time which makes it a great lunch-box salad, too. Wow, I can go on about Kale, right? I can't help it. This salad is one of those foods that make you feel like you did something right. Kale - it's a keeper!
Recipe: I Love Kale Salad
(adapted from Cavalo Nero Salad)
serves 4 side salads
1 head/bunch of Lacinato or Black Kale (about 4 cups of pieces)
1 Lemon (zest and juice, separate)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Red pepper flakes
pinch of salt
1/4 cup. Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese grated
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1) Spread the Panko crumbs out on a parchment lined baking pan and toast in a preheated 375F oven for about 3-4 minutes until lightly browned. Watch them carefully. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
2) In a blender, mix together the lemon juice, minced garlic, pepper flakes, salt and olive oil.
3) Wash/ dry and remove the ribs from the Kale leaves, then chop or tear into bite-size pieces.
4) Pour the Lemon/Garlic vinaigrette over the Kale in a bowl and toss well. Add about half of the cheese and toss again. Let the salad sit for a few minutes or longer to soak up the flavors.5) Add the break crumbs and toss again. Just before serving, toss in the rest of the cheese and garnish with the zest.
The recipe is easy to double for making a big bowl of this for sharing the health. :D