Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kale and navy bean salad

Kale has always been a little intimidating to me; for some reason, it always ends up tough and bitter when I try to cook it.  Recently, though, I read through several recipes that used an acidic medium, rather than high heat, to break it down.  For this reason, when I came across a bag of the ever dark and forbidding kale at Trader Joe's on Monday, I decided to give kale another go.

The result?  A salad so good, I ate it for lunch both yesterday and today.  Because of the salty, sour vinaigrette and the starchy white beans, this salad reminds me of an Italian pasta salad.  It's a perfect follow-up for How to eat your veggies, and like it too! since the recipe is both a) a veggie recipe and b) delicious. 

To make a big bowl of this kale and navy bean salad, you will need the following Ingredients:
  • 10 oz. raw kale, shredded with stems removed
  • 4 cups of cooked navy beans
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons seasoning of choice (I used 21 Seasoning Salute, also from TJ's)
  • 4 oz. shredded Romano cheese from goat's milk (optional)
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers, cashews or sunflower seeds
  • unrefined salt, to taste
  1. In a smaller bowl, whisk vinegar, oil and seasoning into a vinaigrette
  2. Place kale, beans and cheese in a large mixing bowl.  Pour in the vinaigrette a little at a time, stopping every now and then to toss the salad, until the kale is visibly coated.  You might not use all of the dressing.  Conversely, if you like salad dressing as much as I do, you might opt to whisk together a bit more, keeping in mind the 2:1 olive oil to vinegar ratio.
  3. Cover and refrigerate about 8 hours.  If you plan to eat the salad for lunch, refrigerate overnight and divvy it up in the morning.  If it's dinner fare, you can toss it together in the morning so that it's ready by evening.
  4. Top with almonds, cashews or sunflower seeds just before it is served.
Voila!  Perfect summer fare.  I promise not to tell anyone if you gobble it up for breakfast.  ;)

This post is linked to Party Wave Wednesday 7/10/13 at Holistic Squid, Whole Food Friday 7/12/13 at Allergy Free Alaska, Tasty Traditions 7/10/13 at Cultured Palate and Sunday School 7/14/13 at Butter Believer