Monday, April 15, 2013

Kale Salad with Toasted Pepitas

Yet another delicious variation on a kale theme. Kale is one of the powerhouses of nutrition; a dark, green, fiber-rich bunch of health. I am somewhat new to the juicing/green smoothie scene, and kale is a staple in most green juices and smoothies for its nutrient dense properties. See my previous post on White Bean Kale Soup {click here} for more detailed information on what kale provides. 

My best friend from high school sent me a recipe for one of her new favorite addictions, Massaged Kale Salad from Aarti Sequeira of the Food Network. The original salad contains diced mango and toasted pepitas with a lemon-honey vinaigrette. I didn't have mango, so substituted the next best thing...sweet bell peppers. I know, I know... no where near mango. 

You really have to massage the kale to work the fibrousness (is that a word?) out. It might seem like a little work, but it's really so much better that way. 

1/2 large bunch kale, washed and deveined
1/2 fresh lemon
8 black olives, sliced
1/3 cup diced red and yellow sweet peppers
2 handfuls toasted pepitas (try sunflower seeds or toasted pine nuts, too!)
Salt, to taste

1/2 fresh lemon, squeezed
2 tsp. honey
pepper (opt.)
scant 1/4 cup olive oil

Roll kale leaves into small bundles and thinly slice into ribbons (this is called chiffonade). Place into a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the greens, drizzle a small amount of olive oil over, and sprinkle with salt. With your hands, massage kale for perhaps one minute, until the fibers have broken down and greens are slightly wilted. 

Add black olives, sweet peppers and pepitas (or other seeds) to green mixture and stir to combine. 

In a small bowl, combine juice from the other half of the lemon, 2 tsp. honey, and black pepper (opt.) and whisk. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream, until a emulsion forms. Pour dressing over kale greens and toss to mix well. 

Taste salad and adjust for seasonings.

Yield: 2 1-cup servings, or 4 1/2-cup servings
100 calories per 1/2 cup (slightly less if you don't use all the dressing.)

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