I miss kale. It’s only been about a week since I’ve had any, but I am definitely suffering withdrawals. And, though I do not miss winter at all, I could use a huge helping of this salad.
What makes this salad particularly special is the way the flavors and textures play with each other. Not to mention the way they deliver a wholly satisfying meal. Yes, a vegetarian salad can be wholly satisfying for EVERYONE. I promise.
This goody was a huge hit each and every time I made it in the past 3 months. And, I made it A LOT! The original recipe comes from one of my favorite sources of inspiration, Bon Appetit. Anytime I see anything with kale, I try it. Kale is versatile and quite easy going, going from sautés to soups, smoothies to salads and every time you eat it, you are racking up credit, giving yourself a huge dose of nutrients. Consider it delicious, preventive medicine.
I’ve talked about kale once already, but here’s a quick reminder. There are 3 main “anti-s” to remember about kale; antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic. Seriously. This is key about kale because oxidative stress (taken care of by antioxidants) and inflammation gone out of control (why we need anti-inflammatory nutrients) are 2 conditions that lead to serious health problems and diseases such as cancer. Not to mention that kale can also reduce cholesterol and it is superb at helping the body detox. Kale is also one of those foods that makes you happy!
This incarnation of the salad (there have been many versions) came about mostly because I needed to use up ingredients in my fridge and pantry.* The original salad is delicious, but after many adaptations and experimentations, this is my favorite. The pecans add much needed crunch and kamut is a yummy, nuttier, sturdier alternative to barley.
Let me know what you think!
1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil (approximately)
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T champagne vinegar
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 T coconut sugar (I usually replace brown sugar with coconut sugar.)
1 bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed and cut into 1/2-1″ pieces
1 shallot, minced (roughly 1/4 C)
2-3 golden beets, roasted and cut into 1/4″ dice
1 C kamut, soaked, rinsed and cooked off
1 avocado, diced
1/2 C pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 C Bulgarian feta, crumbled or cut into small dice (regular feta is delicious, too but this is what I had left…for a vegan option, omit the cheese and you’re still left with a pretty stellar salad:)
1. Whisk together 1/4 C olive oil, the vinegars and lemon juice and season with sea salt and pepper.
2. Add kale and shallots and mix thoroughly to make sure the kale is evenly coated. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours before assembling salad. This will wilt the kale making it tender for every bite.
3. Once cooled, add the beets and the kamut and mix to coat evenly. You may need to drizzle some of the remaining oil in.
4. When ready to serve, add the avocado and feta (if using), drizzle with more olive oil and a splash of champagne vinegar to brighten it up. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Stir gently and serve topped with chopped pecans.
5. The other genius of this salad (kale is first) is that it’s sturdy enough to be made 2-3 days in advance. Just cover and chill and add avocados, feta and nuts when ready to serve. Thanks, Bon Appetit!
*Since I was moving, I had to use up everything I could in the kitchen. It’s incredibly inspiring to cook when you have to constantly substitute and re-invent things with new ingredients.