As a child in Sweden, I was only presented with kale once a year. My mother would make a recipe that she grew up eating that although delicious, was not the most nutritious. the recipe involves kale, vinegar, and a large quantity of heavy cream all combined and consumed on December 24th. Besides this particular dish, kale had not been on my radar until a few years ago. I lived in the US, so most of the green leafy vegetables I saw at the store were either collard greens, mustard greens or any type of lettuce, but never kale.
These days, everyone and their mother is all over kale in any form. And they should be. it is pretty affordable, good for you and delicious. What’s not to love? Of course, I jumped on the band wagon even though I am almost always a day late and a dollar short when it comes to trends. I have yet to make smoothie with kale but that is only because I don’t have a blender in my apartment yet.
My first reuniting with kale happened at a friend’s house a few months ago. I walked in the room and there it was – a beautiful bowl of something green that I simply had to taste. There is just something about eating raw vegetables that make you feels so good! I have since then gone back to being pescatarian so my diet these days is even more vegetable based than it was a few months ago. for that reason, Kale and I have been hanging out quite a bit around dinner time.
Below is my take on that same recipe I had a few months ago. The key ingredient is really acid of either lemon or vinegars because it breaks down the bitterness of the greens. Experiment, have fun and see what combinations work best for you.
This first one is the recipe my friend made.
Kale salad with lemon and pine nuts
One bunch of kale
2 Table spoons of Lemon juice or the juice of one lemon.
1/4 cup of olive oil
I clove of garlic, pressed.
Hand full of pine nuts
Salt and pepper to taste
- Clean and remove the stems from the kale. Cut or tear the kale into bite size pieces.
- Combine all other ingredients except the pine nuts in a bowl and whisk together.
- In a bowl, pour mixture over the kale. Gently massage the kale so that the liquid can do its magic.
- When kale is down to half its size, set aside for 30 min.
- In a dry frying pan, quickly roast the pine nuts. Take care not to burn them.
Before serving, sprinkle the warm pine nuts on top.
Now, you may not always have pine nuts in your house ( Lord knows i don’t) Also, they are kind of spendy. Sometimes you don’t have lemons, sometimes you just want something different. you get where I am going with this. Below are some suggested things to add or replace in the recipe to make it your own.
Replace with collard greens, mustard greens or turnip greens. These greens tend to be a tad more bitter so just make sure you give them enough massage and time to marinate in the dressing to remove that bitterness. In other words, allow for ample foreplay when dealing with these greens.
The acid in the lemon is really the key. I have also heard people use Apple Cider Vinegar. I made the salad using pickle juice the other day and it was delicious!. I have not tried but I would imagine that any acidic fruit would work, like grapefruit, orange, or blood orange. Comment below if you have tried this and let me know how it was!
Slivered almonds, walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts would work just as well here. Pick your favorite and roast away. You can also add dried fruits like cranberries or apricots instead, or add both!
You can also experiment with other spices besides salt and pepper. You can add various condiments to the dressing to change up the flavor, like a dab of hot sauce, soy sauce, or mustard.
Lastly, you can always look at this salad as a base and add your favorite veggies to it.