Winter’s vegetables are in full force with kale winding its way to the top of the list. It is one of those vegetables that goes a long way, but it was never one that frequented either one of our family tables. Kale popped up once we found the farmers markets and restaurants of L.A. Kale chips and kale salads were the winners that swayed folks in the direction of this green. Kale salads are fairly easy to find on restaurant menus, but they are very simple to make at home. The dark, rich greens stand up well to a tangy, sweet vinaigrette and a variety of stir-ins to add a variety of textures to each crunchy bite. A version of this salad was served last month at the Social Justice Learning Institute’s monthly workshop in Inglewood. The salad shown above was shared with friends this past weekend for brunch. Now it’s your turn to make your own.
Kale just might be addictive. You can judge for yourself once you take a bite. Who can feel guilty after swallowing a big bowl of greens? It’s nearly impossible. Look for the deep green, large curly bunches, and be sure to wash the leaves very well before trimming out the fibrous stems down the middle. Once you have the hearty leaves, where you go from there is up to you. We suggest a salad for starters. Here’s one that will set you on a delicious path.
Massaged Kale Salad with Caramelized Onions, Cranberries and Pine Nuts – Serves 4 to 6
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds kale (approx. 3-4 bunches of kale), stems removed and leaves very thinly sliced
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon water
1 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
Parmesan cheese, shaved
1. Whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and red pepper flakes together in a large bowl. Add the kale and toss to coat. Using your fingers, rub the kale gently for 3-5 minutes or until the greens begin to wilt and soften. Set aside.
2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a shallow pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sugar, tossing all of the ingredients in the pan. Season with the salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium low and cook for another 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the water and continue cooking for 15 minutes, then remove from heat.
3. Top the wilted kale with the warm onions, pine nuts, cranberries and Parmesan cheese before serving.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.