Yearning for something a little different for dinner tonight? Try using kale instead of lettuce for a salad. A garlicky dressing and bits of sweet cherry add surprising flavor twists.
Serves: 4 to 6
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
(or 2 teaspoons minced red/white bottoms of summer garlic)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed (not bottled) lime juice
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- Several grinds of black pepper
- 6 cups loosely packed kale leaves
(try baby kale during warmer months—see Note)
- 1/4 cup sweet cherries, cut roughly in quarters
- 1⁄4 cup unsweetened coconut, either shredded or chips
In a small glass or metal bowl, whisk together with a fork. Set dressing aside while preparing kale.
Strip stems from leaves and reserve stems for another use. Tear or cut leaves roughly into 2” squares, then wash in a salad spinner and spin dry.
Transfer the kale leaves to a serving container. Toss with the dressing. With clean hands, massage the dressing in with the kale leaves until they soften and turn bright green, about 45 to 60 seconds.
Sprinkle the cherries and coconut over the kale. Allow salad to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
- Sliced almonds* and fresh apricots (diced to 1/2”)
- Chopped pecans* and fresh peaches (diced to 1/2”)
- Chopped walnuts* and dried cher- ries or cranberries
- Chopped hazelnuts* and sultana (golden) raisins
* For best results, toast nuts before adding to salad. To toast, warm a heavy-bot- tomed saute pan over medium heat. Add nuts and cook and stir every minute or two until they turn lightly brown with a fragrant, nutty aroma.
Note: Baby kale is available in late spring and early summer is a real treat, being very tender and al-most sweet. Because the stems are so small they don’t even need to be stripped, saving time. Any larger leaves should still be chopped roughly, though. Important note: Because baby kale is so tender, however, it should not marinate in the dressing for more than 5 to 10 minutes or it will become soggy.
- Here are more recipes for colorful green salads.
- Find lots more recipes on VegKitchen for kale, collards, and other hardy greens.
Mary Collette Rogers is the author of Take Control of Your Kitchen.* In addition to writing, she offers kitchen makeover services, meal planning consultations, and classes on healthy cooking, in the hope of sharing her practical KitchenSmart habits and tools so busy people everywhere can enjoy wonderfully delicious and nourishing meals. Visit her at Everyday Good Eating.
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