After my overly productive haul from the grocery store last week, I knew I would be making something light and bright to go with my bean soup with lemon parsley breadcrumbs. But I didn’t want to get carried away…it’s still winter, after all, and I wanted a salad that would satisfy my need for something a little hearty, too.
Kale fits the bill here. Although ubiquitous now – my definition of that too-long-word: when McDonald’s starts using or selling an ingredient, it’s time for me to stop – it really is a yummy veggie when you treat it right.
My idea of treating it right is to get the full-grown version, and season it properly. Pretty simple concept, don’t ya think? It’s cheap, good for you, packs a wallop of nutritional value, and tastes delicious when paired with other full-flavored fruits and vegetables.
Citrus fruits are in season in the winter. I love them any time of year, but I especially love using all sorts of them right now. I used lemons today, but this salad would be equally delish with fresh grapefruit juice and zest, or a combo of lemon, lime and orange. You could also add in some grilled chicken or avocado and call it a main course lunch. Or you could serve it alongside a giant steak and a baked potato and call it dinner for my guys. 😉
I’m going to serve it with my bean soup and tell the hubs it’s “health food”. That’s kinda true.
Kale Cauliflower SaladCourse: Soups, Salads and SandwichesCuisine: American, ComfortDifficulty: Easy
This bright salad is great on it’s own. You can also add a little leftover grilled chicken or shrimp, or an avocado and make it a delicious light lunch!
1 large bunch kale, 10-12 ounces
1/4 to 1/2 head cauliflower (depending on size), thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
6 large scallions, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
1 large red pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup currants or other small dried fruit
5 tsp lemon zest (from about 3 lemons)
1/2 cup lemon juice (from same 3 lemons – zest them first!)
1 cup good olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flake
- For the salad:
- Pull tough stems from kale leaves, discarding stems. Julienne leaves into bite-sized pieces. Submerge in a large bowl of cold water (a salad spinner is invaluable here!) and swish around to remove all the grit. Gently lift greens out of water and dry on kitchen towel. If using salad spinner, lift colander out of basket, drain water, and spin dry.
- Add cauliflower, red onion, scallions, carrots and red pepper to large bowl along with kale.
- Add currants.
- Toss with dressing and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
- For the dressing:
- Drop all the ingredients in the jar of a blender or a high-sided bowl.
- Mix ingredients until smooth by pulsing blender (if using) or immersion blending (my preference) in the bowl. The dressing will stay pretty well-emulsified for days.
- This makes a lot of salad. If you’re cooking for a smaller crowd, you have two options. It keeps for a few days in the fridge and stays pretty crispy (like coleslaw) so you can mix the whole batch and eat the leftovers for the next few days. Alternatively, you can add part of the currants and dressing to part of the kale mix as you plan to eat it and keep the rest stored separately in the refrigerator. Voila – freshly dressed greens every time.
- My standard note about salt! I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, in the big red box. If you can, purchase it at Amazon or Walmart. The volume of salt can vary by as much as 75% by weight so it can make a HUGE difference to your recipe.
- Note on cleaning greens like romaine, kale and swiss chard: 1) Always cut the greens first. This allows them to rehydrate and crisp up when they are washed. 2) Always lift the greens out of the water, never dump the water over the greens into a colander. If you dump the dirty water, all that grit we just removed from the greens will end up back on top of them!