Simple Kale Salad

I know a lot of you have kale in your fridge right now. I know this because I went grocery shopping a couple of days before the new year, and the produce section was jammed with people in preparation for complete body transformations. As I was wondering what the hell I was doing there, I saw that there had been, in particular, quite a run on kale. And yes, I noticed because I, too, was there to purchase some, along with various other green things. I’m not truly hoping for complete body transformation, but it would be nice to button my favorite jeans again.

I’m reasonably sure that some of you have no idea what to do with the kale currently occupying space in your crisper. I offer this simple salad for you to prevent the purchased kale from rotting into a disgusting blob. That said, it is pretty hearty and will last longer than most leafy greens.

For me, the key to a good kale salad is first, buying the right variety. Dino kale, also known as Tuscan or black kale, is my favorite. The leaves are dark, broad, and slightly more tender than the curly kind, making them perfect for cutting into very thin strips (chiffonade). The next important component is a good balsamic vinegar or citrus juice that will add great flavor and work with salt to tenderize the leaves. Then comes the olive oil to nicely coat the thin strips of kale and some robust flavor components such as cheese, nuts, and dried fruit. Use this recipe as a guide. Substitute or add different kinds of vinegar, cheeses, nuts, etc.

Here is another simple recipe to try.

Simple Kale Salad
(serves 2)
5 – 6 leaves Dino/Tuscan kale, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 TB balsamic vinegar
1/2 clove garlic, grated or very finely chopped
1 TB olive oil
1 green onion, chopped
1 TB blue cheese, crumbled
pinch of kosher or sea salt
black pepper, preferably freshly ground
6 – 8 toasted pecans (I used sweet and spicy pecans)
Slice kale into thin ribbons.
Remove and discard tough stems.
In a medium-size bowl, combine vinegar and oil.
Whisk until emulsified (well combined).
Add blue cheese, onion, salt, and pepper.
Then add kale and toss until all the leaves are coated with dressing. You can do this and set it aside while you finish preparing the rest of your meal. The longer the kale sits in the dressing, the more tender it will become. Just wait to add the nuts, or they will get soggy.
Just before serving, toss in the pecans.
Divide onto two plates, add more ground pepper if you like, and enjoy!
Happy New Year! Cheers to a fresh start!!!

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce