Consider kale salad when planning Easter meal
There was a time when kale was just ornamental. Then, suddenly, it became a culinary superstar!
And with good reason. Because when you start eating kale, it will become the “new normal” base for your salads. It has a more robust flavor and texture than lettuce and is good for you, too. And that's all because kale is part of the same family as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
Black kale — also called Tuscan kale — is the best choice for salads. It has soft, flat leaves and is not prickly or curly. It still needs to be de-stemmed and the leaves need to be torn, but it isn't nearly as tough as curly kale, which is a good choice for making kale chips. Baby kale is the easiest kale to use, because all you need to do is wash and dry the tender leaves and finish making the salad.
There are many ways to dress kale in a salad. I love adding a touch of sweetness to the dressing and the salad mix-ins. This counteracts the slight bitterness of the leaves. The other key is to dress the kale, then let it sit for five to 10 minutes before adding the other ingredients. This will slightly wilt the greens, remove the bitter flavor and make the raw kale more tender.
My dressing is similar to Southern coleslaw dressing, and I find that it complements the kale without over-powering it.
Elizabeth Karmel is a contributing writer for the Associated Press.
Kale Salad With Apples, Apricots and Manchego Cheese
Start to finish: 25 minutes (10 minutes active)
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the salad:
1 large bunch (about 1 pound) Tuscan kale, stems torn or cut out, leaves torn into small pieces
1⁄3 cup dried apricots, julienned
1⁄3 cup pumpkin seeds
2 ounces manchego cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Pink Lady apple, cored and cut into thin half moons
To make the dressing, in a large bowl whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, mayonnaise, sugar and salt. Add the kale and toss to coat well, then set aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, toss again to coat well.
Sprinkle the apricots, pumpkin seeds and cheese over the dressed kale. Toss again to evenly distribute. Season with salt, if needed, and pepper. Fan thin slices of apple over the top of the salad and serve.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 230 calories (110 calories from fat), 12 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 15 milligrams cholesterol, 9 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams dietary fiber, 330 milligrams sodium