It’s been a rather long hiatus, but a friend recently reminded me it was time to get back to the blog for more cooking inspiration. Tonight, I was contemplating a cooked kale recipe with white beans to go alongside our sausage. But it was a beautiful day after a soccer game, and cooked veggies seemed so heavy. Then I remembered a kale salad I had tasted at Whole Foods a while back. It was pretty good at the time, but I thought it had great potential to be excellent with some tweaks.
If you haven’t ever tried kale, you are truly missing out. Kale is thought to be one of the oldest forms of cabbage, and native to the Eastern Mediterranean. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C, iron, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, potassium, protein, carbohydrates and dietary fiber. If you’re not crazy for cabbage, don’t let that be a deterrent – it doesn’t taste much like it, and it’s a superfood worth experimenting with despite its not-so-exciting appearance. Watch it come alive after dressing or cooking!
This is the direction I went, and we could not stop eating it. I can say with confidence, it’s our new favorite grilling side dish! It’s got it all. Healthy, delicious, South Beach friendly, easy, and quick. Save one or two of your beautiful garden tomatoes for this – I like one red and one yellow, for spectacular color on your plate. Sorry about the photo – time for a new camera!
- 3 cups kale, stems removed, chopped rather fine (about 1/2 inch pieces of leaves)
- 2 medium tomatoes from the garden, diced 1/2 inch
- 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted*
- 1/4 cup good-quality olive oil
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspo0n kosher or sea salt or more to taste
- several turns fresh ground black pepper
- pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
In a large bowl, toss together the kale, tomatoes, olives and pine nuts. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour the dressing over the kale mixture; toss several turns until the kale turns a bright green color and begins to soften. Let stand 10 minutes before serving at room temperature. Excellent side dish for grilling – especially with Italian sausages.
Optional: sprinkle with 3 oz. of crumbled feta cheese.
* To toast pine nuts, place them in a frying pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, tossing frequently, until the aroma fills the room and the nuts have a slight golden color on at least one side. Do NOT leave the room. Take care not to burn them; it can make all the difference and ruin your salad! Remove immediately from the pan and allow to cool on a plate before tossing into your salad.