Kale is such a versatile and good-for-you vegetable. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, you can eat it raw or cooked, it makes great-tasting and healthy chips for snacking, and you can add it to fruit smoothies for a big nutrition boost with no noticeable effect on the drink’s other flavors.
One of my favorite ways to eat this superfood is as a salad. But not just any old salad. The recipe I’m about to share comes from my cousin Caryn, who blogs over at One Whole Human. She’s converted many a former skeptic into kale fanatics with this salad. She’s sort of the Pied Piper of kale—people will follow her anywhere once she’s promised them a bowl full of this yummy salad.
The best thing about this salad, other than its delicious, wholesome goodness, is that you can mix up a big batch and have a whole week’s worth of healthy, light lunches at your fingertips. You won’t mind eating it day after day, either—it’s that good. In fact, it gets better after it’s sat in the fridge for a day or two, because it “cooks” in there, blending flavors and softening the vegetable’s flavor and texture.
Let me get this out of the way, right up front. What I’m offering is not so much a recipe as a list of ingredients accompanied by some tips. How much of which ingredient you use depends on the size of your kale “bunch” and your personal preferences. As a guide, I’ve listed mine in parentheses.
• 1 bunch of kale (Mine comes from the garden, so I use as much as will fill up a large mixing bowl.)
• lemon juice and olive oil in more or less equal proportions (I use about 2 tablespoons of each.)
• minced garlic (I use a couple of good-sized cloves.)
• salt, to taste (You need at least a little salt. I use a few healthy grinds of coarse sea salt.)
• grated Parmesan cheese* (I’m partial to Parmesan, so I sprinkle liberally.)
1. Tear kale into bite-size pieces, discarding tough stems. Place kale in large mixing bowl.
2. Add remaining ingredients.*
3. Mix well. (You may want to mix with your hands, lightly massaging the kale, to ensure that all ingredients are well mixed and to help soften the kale a bit.)
Remember, this easy-to-make salad can be prepared in advance. In fact, that’s preferable—as I said, it gets better with age. But if you can’t wait (that’s me), you can dish up a bowl right away. It will still be delicious. Serve it as a side at dinner or add a few tortilla chips, a baguette, or some other crunchy for a delicious, healthy, filling midday meal.
* While adding the ingredients all at once is the quickest way to make this salad, I’ve found it much more satisfactory to mix in the Parmesan after the salad has been dished into individual bowls. The reason is simple: because of the olive oil, the cheese stubbornly sticks to the sides of the mixing bowl and stays there instead of making it into your mouth. And that would be a real shame.
Carole Coates is a gardener and food preservationist, family archivist, essayist, poet, photographer, modern homesteader. You can follow her Mother Earth News blog posts by following this link. You can also find Carole at Living On the Diagonal where she shares her take on life, including modern homesteading, food preparation and preservation, and travel as well random thoughts and reflections, personal essays, poetry, and photography.
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