Healthy Eating: Consider a robust kale salad with Thanksgiving
When it comes to leafy green vegetables, kale has been king for a while. It boasts more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk and more iron per calorie than beef.
It also has been the darling of the restaurant world for several years, popping up on menus all over the place. There's even been kale backlash, as people said, “Enough kale!” But I can't get enough. Particularly now, when kale is in its prime (it loves the cold).
So, I wanted to find a new way to prepare it. Garlicky kale sauteed in olive oil? Been there. Baked kale chips? Done that. In search of a simple recipe that would be manageable for the Thanksgiving table, I was inspired by a kale salad I ate recently at ABC Kitchen, one of my favorite restaurants in New York. Chef Dan Kluger tosses his version with lemon, serrano chilies and mint.
I decided to give mine the Asian treatment, dressing it with soy, sesame oil and rice vinegar.
Kale is available in curly, ornamental and dinosaur varieties. It was the Italians who gave that last type its name; they thought the bumpy surface of its leaves resembled dinosaur skin. Generally, smaller leaves are milder in flavor. At the supermarket, look for firm, deeply colored leaves with firm stems. You can store kale in an airtight plastic bag in the fridge for up to five days.
There is one problem with raw kale — it's tough. You can tenderize it by cutting it into thin shreds or, oddly enough, you can massage it. I was always taught to be gentle with greens because they bruise easily, but not kale. Kale is the punching bag of the greens world. You need to beat it into submission if you're going to eat it raw.
You also need to remove the thick stems. The easiest way to do this is with a paring knife. One at a time, fold the leaves in half and lay it flat on the cutting surface. Use the knife to slice down along the side of the stem.
You can make the dressing for this salad ahead, then toss and massage the greens at the last moment. If you'd like, you can dress the kale a few hours ahead of time and keep it chilled with little damage to the flavor and texture. I tried this salad after I'd left it in the fridge for a full day. It still tasted darn good. In all modesty, it's another reason to be thankful.
Chef Sara Moulton writes this column for the Associated Press.
Sesame Kale Salad
Start to finish: 10 minutes
1 small clove garlic, minced
21⁄2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
11⁄2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
10 cups packed, chopped kale leaves, thick stems removed
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, whisk the garlic, sesame oil, vegetable oil, vinegar and soy sauce. Add the kale, and massage it with your hands for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it has become shiny and a little translucent and reduced in volume by one third to one half. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, then season with salt and pepper. Toss well.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 130 calories (70 calories from fat), 8 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 0 cholesterol, 5 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams dietary fiber, 410 milligrams sodium
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Minister quick to share time, talents, love
- Steelers rookie says Sam, his former roommate, has changed
- Fire victim’s ex-boyfriend jumps from Tarentum Bridge
- Turbine sites near properties in Fayette County threatened
- Steelers aim to create more turnovers this year with speedier defense
- Rossi: Buying trust is a must for Pirates
- Greensburg skaters competing at ice dance championships
- Multimillion-dollar renovations to remake 1960s Pittsburgh apartments Downtown, on North Side
- West Mifflin Legion falls into elimination bracket
- South Hills sweeps Synergy Group in DNL playoffs
- Former Washington County judge awaits word on trial over seized cocaine evidence