I have to admit that I see “fresh kale” this and “fresh kale” that all over the food blogs. I usually just keep on moving past them. My Chief kale-lover husband would appreciate a kale dish now and then, but my kale-loathing sous-chef dish-washer mom turns her nose up at kale!
Enter Heidy. Heidy is a lovely woman and talented artist who just happened to fix lunch for us at Hephzibah House on a recent visit to NYC.
Earlier in the morning I had seen a large bowl of fresh kale in the refrigerator. Lunchtime rolled around and in my limited experience with kale I wasn’t sure what to expect as she said “It’s not cooked – it is much healthier raw.” Okkkaaay.
I took a little spoonful, I didn’t want to be rude and not take any. Major mistake. After the first bite I knew I would be asking for
another helping … a HUGE helping.
According to Heidy, and the many recipes floating around the internet, let your imagine run wild when making raw kale salad. The technique to prepare the kale is the same, but you can choose your favorite ingredients to dress it.
Cookie and Kate has a list of her 12 favorite kale
salads. She also does a step by step how to get
the kale ready.
Heidy did not de-stem the kale and it was just perfect. If you prefer to de-stem it is easy. To de-stem kale, grab a stalk of kale, hold it by the stem with one hand and place the pointer or middle finger and thumb of your other hand around the stem just above the leaves. Pull your fingers along the stem, tearing the leaves off. This need not be done very precisely or neatly; the idea is to end up with a kind of slaw. Chop kale into strips or bite size pieces.
My new favorite recipe is posted at the bottom of this page. Enjoy!
Happy Healthy Eating!
- 1 cup sliced almonds, pecans, or walnuts
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 to 4 lemons)
- ½ cup thinly sliced radishes
- Kosher salt
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 6 to 8 ounces washed and dried kale leaves, thick stems removed (if using prewashed trimmed kale, buy 2 clamshell containers)
- ¾ cups freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
- In a toaster oven or skillet, toast almonds (or walnuts or pecans) until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
- In a bowl, combine lemon juice and ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Add garlic and set aside.
- To de-stem kale, take each large leaf and hold it by the stem with one hand and place the pointer or middle finger and thumb of your other hand around the stem just above the leaves. Pull your fingers along the stem, tearing the leaves off. You can do this step right above the sink after you wash your kale leaves. This need not be done very precisely or neatly; the idea is to end up with a kind of slaw. Chop kale into strips or bite size pieces. (Recipe can be made up to this point 1 day ahead. Keep kale and dressing refrigerated separately.)
- Place chopped kale in a very large bowl. Sprinkle surface with roasted nuts, cranberries, radish and then with cheese, if using. Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss. Taste for dressing and salt and add more as needed, tossing to coat thoroughly. Serve within 2 hours.