This salad is a favorite at my table and that of my client’s. I made up a nice bowl of this salad the other day for a light dinner. My 15 and 10 year old came into see what I was eating and asked for a bite. Thinking that the dressing would be too strong for them with all that garlic and lemon they would give my salad right back, I agreed. Boy was I wrong! They both scarfed it up and LOVED it! Good thing I had more ingredients to make more. This salad is fresh, nutty, a little salty from the cheese and oh so addicting! Recently I have found Baby Kale leaves in my Whole Foods – they are tender and yummy! If you can’t find baby kale a bunch of kale will do just fine.
Kale is a nutritional standout in three basic areas: (1) antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, (2) much-needed micronutrients (in which the average U.S. adult is currently deficient), and (3) cancer-preventive nutrients called glucosinolates.
In addition to conventional antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese, kale also provides us with at least 45 different recently discovered flavonoids, including kaempferol and quercetin. Many of the flavonoids in kale are also now known to function not only as antioxidants, but also as anti-inflammatory compounds. You can also count on kale to provide valuable cardiovascular support in terms of its cholesterol-lowering ability.
But we know that kale is a spectacular source of vitamin K (one cup of kale provides far more micrograms of vitamin K than any of the touted 135 World’s Healthiest foods) and we also know that vitamin K is a key nutrient for helping regulate our body’s inflammatory process.
Kale’s risk-lowering benefits for cancer have recently been extended to at least five different types of cancer. These types include cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from glucosinolates in kale play a primary role in achieving these risk-lowering benefits. How exciting is that?
How to Select and Store:
Look for kale with firm, deeply colored leaves and moist hardy stems. Kale should be displayed in a cool environment since warm temperatures will cause it to wilt and will negatively affect its flavor. The leaves should look fresh, be unwilted, and be free from signs of browning, yellowing, and small holes. Choose kale with smaller-sized leaves since these will be more tender and have a more mild flavor than those with larger leaves. Kale is available throughout the year, although it is more widely available, and at its peak, from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring.
To store, place kale in a plastic storage bag removing as much of the air from the bag as possible. Store in the refrigerator where it will keep for 5 days. The longer it is stored, the more bitter its flavor becomes. Do not wash kale before storing because exposure to water encourages spoilage.
|Raw Kale Salad|
- 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
- 2 T. Dijon mustard
- 1 T. shallot, minced
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 t. pepper
- 1 large bunch of Kale leaves, center rib discarded and leaves washed and sliced thin OR 6 c. baby Kale leaves
- 1/2 c. olive oil
- 1/3 c. almonds, slivered, blanced
- A pinch of Kosher salt
- 1/3 c. Romano cheese, grated (
- Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld.
- Place thinly sliced kale, or baby kale leaves in a large bowl.
- Measure 1/2 cup oil into a cup.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon oil from cup into a small skillet; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer nuts to a paper towel–lined plate.
- Sprinkle almonds lightly with kosher salt.
- Whisk remaining oil into lemon juice mixture until combined.
- Toss kale leaves with almonds, Romano cheese, and just enough dressing to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
- If using regular curly kale leaves let the dressed salad sit for 10-20 min in order for the leaves to soften up and begin to break down.