Even though the world probably doesn't need another kale salad recipe, I can't resist sharing this one with you in our month of "winter salads". Kale is beautiful and good for you, and abundant in this season, and these are all good reasons to give it a try. I find that if you prepare it well, it's not so bitter and tough as you might think. I've tried a number of varieties, and I prefer this lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur kale), as it seems milder in taste to me.
After washing the kale , I've dried it off and now I'm stripping the leaves from the stems. This is a quick process, and essential, because you don't want to use the tougher stems in this salad. I give it another spin in the salad spinner to get off any last bits of water on the leaves. The water will be an enemy to your dressing, so get that kale as dry as you can.
Now chop, chop, chop the leaves into bite sized pieces. Then put it into a bowl and massage it with your hands. This might seem silly, but what you're doing here, is breaking down some of the fiber in the kale and that means a more tender salad in your mouth. A minute or so of working those leaves is perfect.
Now toast up a few walnuts and chop them for your salad. Dice some of your favorite apple variety and grab the dried cranberries from the pantry.
Drop all of these things into a bowl with the kale. Now, if you're a fan of blue cheese, add some crumbled cheese to the bowl. If you're not, I'm thinking you might be able to substitute some feta for he blue. The flavors won't be quite the same, but I bet it would still be good.
Now it's time to mix up a quick vinaigrette to pour over the salad. You need apple cider vinegar, honey or agave, salt and pepper and olive oil. That's it. I mix my dressings in a container that allows me to shake it all up, but you can do this in a small bowl with a whisk just as easily.
This salad is good to go at this point, but I think the flavors improve with a little time in the refrigerator. Make it early in the day for dinner tonight or have it for lunch tomorrow. We like this so well, that often I don't even make anything to go with it. Just a big bowl of salad is super satisfying. Grilled chicken would also be good though. There you have it. Another delicious winter salad. Enjoy!
My Favorite Kale Salad
1 bunch of Kale- washed, stripped from the stem, chopped and massaged
Use the following in amounts suited to your taste. You really like apples? Use plenty of them. Don't love walnuts? Use pecans, sunflower seeds or pepitas. You get the idea, right?
walnuts, toasted and chopped
blue cheese crumbles
Place the above in a big bowl.
Dressing for Salad:
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 t. honey or agave
salt and pepper to taste
8 T. light olive oil
Pour dressing over salad and mix. This salad tastes best after sitting in the refrigerator a while.