I’m not really sure whether kale is the super food pundits are calling it but just in case it is, for posterity alone, I’m a bit fixated. My first attempt was hysterical after I realized that I’d bought ornamental kale instead of the variety you eat. Ralph and I chewed our salads until our mouths ached, then Ralph said, his cheek bulging with leathery greens, “sure is hardy!” He was attempting diplomacy…
I explained that I’d loved the kale’s ruffled edge and gorgeous shades of purple. Clearly, I was more interested in how the photos would look than how the salad would taste. However… lesson learned.
Even edible kale is tougher than most salad greens. Some cooks recommend massaging it after you’ve removed the spine and stems. I tried it on one leaf but decided caressing kale is more than I’m prepared to do when I want to whip a salad together. Call me lazy!
Beyond kale’s brawniness, it’s also bitter. Bitter and brawny – yikes – I’m not giving you much of a sell job am I? Understanding kale’s shortcomings is key to creating an awesome salad. When I gave this salad to Ralph for lunch, he sat down with a bit of trepidation. I could see that “OMG, she’s going to make me chew this stuff til she figures it out” look. After he swallowed his first bite, he used words like delicious, complex textures, balanced and ‘easy to chew’. He asks for so little! But he’s right. The blackberry’s sweetness countered the bitter in the kale. The juxtaposition of the feta and toasted pecans is outrageous. The whole thing tossed in a slightly sweet lemony vinaigrette knocks it out of the park! Can you tell I’m happy with it?
This is my contribution to the growing barrage of recipes pushing kale as the next best thing to sliced bread. Of course, the bread would be spelt/millet! All kidding aside, this kale salad is cheesy, fruity, nutty, yummy and a wee bit chewy.
Kale and Blackberry Salad with Lemon Agave Vinaigrette
4 cups kale – spines removed and chopped
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 avocado, diced
½ cup chopped pecans, toasted*
½ cup crumbled feta
- Place kale, avocado, pecans and feta a large bowl
- Pour the dressing on top of the salad and gently toss to combine.
- Plate salad into servings
- Sprinkle the black berries between the plates
* Place chopped pecans in a small skillet over medium high heat and toss until fragrant and lightly browned.
Lemon Agave Vinaigrette
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey
½ teaspoon sea salt
- Place everything in a small jar with a tightly fitted lid and shake well.
THE LOVE: The blackberries are extremely fragile so it’s best to think of them as more of a garnish rather than something to be tossed!
one year ago: coconut cream pie
two years ago: maple pudding
Thanks for reading.