Happy New Year!
Last time we talked we were excitedly preparing for the holidays and being merry. I hope you had a wonderful break. I had myself a quiet little relaxing time filled with good cheer and delicious food. I’m almost sad that it’s all over, but I do love the freshness of a new year and all its hopeful possibilities.
On New Year’s Day, we made black-eyed pea soup, like we always do, this time in the Instant Pot, chockful of celery, carrots, leeks and a bit of red wine, we dubbed it legume au vin.
I hope I can share the recipe soon, I even shot a video with my new vlogging camera.
Since the New Year is the time of contemplation and renewal, and most of our resolutions are centered on healthier lifestyles and well-being, I thought we’d kick things off with this fun, simple and healthy-ish flowering kale salad.
I should mention that flowering kale is not an absolute requirement in this salad. Popular varieties like curly, lacinato and redbor kale will be fantastic as well.
I should also mention that be assured, flowering kale, also known as ornamental kale or salad savoy is edible and just as nutritious. This variety of kale bunches up into a colourful rosette of leaves, fluffy with frilly edges and very pretty. The leaves are hardier but softens when massaged.
It’s a nice way to change things up and add crunch, colour and texture to your plate. It makes a wonderful side; we’d planned on adding this salad to our Christmas dinner menu but the market we get this type of kale from didn’t have any.
Like I said at the top, this a very simple salad. The kale is massaged with a bit of olive oil and salt, and tossed with red onions and raisins. Try other vegetables if you don’t care for onions, I’d experiment with bell pepper, tomato or cucumber, and toss in some nuts while you’re at it; perhaps some crushed almonds. The dressing is a lush citrusy vinaigrette with some mustard and sun-dried tomatoe mixed in. It’s one of my favourite dressings; easy and so good! My friend D has been asking for this recipe for almost a year and the half now but I’ve been holding off because I wanted to include a fitting dressing, and this is it.
I almost didn’t post this because I know not everyone can get their hands on flowering kale at the market; you’re more likely to see it in your neighbour’s garden or neighbourhood park, don’t be tempted like I was a couple of years ago when I saw lacinato kale at the gardens of Les Invalides.
If you ever get your hands on flowering kale do give this salad a try, or give it a whirl using regular kale if you’re looking for a simple salad as a side to go with your meal.
- 1 head of flowering kale or bunch of regular kale, washed, de-stemmed and dried
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
- 1/2 small onion, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 sun-dried tomato halves, optional
- Pinch of salt to taste
- Chop kale roughly and place in a large bowl, and sprinkle olive oil and salt over it
- Using clean hands, firmly massage kale, working in salt and olive oil until it becomes tender and shiny, the colour will deepen and the volume decrease
- Add onion and raisins, toss to combine and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper
- To make vinaigrette, combine orange juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic and sun-dried tomato in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, then season with salt to taste OR combine finely chopped sun-dried tomato with the rest of ingredients in a small bowl or jar with tight-fitting lid and whisk or shake until well combined.
- Drizzle a generous amount of vinaigrette over salad, toss and serve immediately