Yesterday, I made a quick kale salad from the Lacinato Kale (also known as Dinosaur Kale), harvested from our garden. I just noticed this variety of kale in the grocery stores last year so we decided to try growing it this winter. It does really well in our Florida winter – even the very warm winter that we’ve had this year.
I’m not a fan of raw kale – I prefer it blanched to remove some of the rawness but I also don’t want it cooked to death. I’ve been tinkering with recipes all winter, always starting with blanched leaves and trying things like sesame oil, sunflower seeds and cranberries. Almost all have been winners.
Last week we dined at Sbraga & Co. and loved their kale salad. All I can remember about it is it was “wilted” (the server’s term), it had just a hint of blue cheese and it had something crunchy in it. So we set about trying to come up with something similar.
First I cut the washed leaves into 1-inch pieces:
Then dropped them into boiling water for 30 seconds to blanch them:
Then drained the water and added iced water to the pot. This cold water stops the cooking. A quick spin in the salad spinner and the kale was ready for dressing.
For this version, I chopped half a jicama root – this would give us the crunch – and added a handful of finely chopped walnuts (because we’re into walnuts in salads right now) and some crumbled blue cheese for flavor:
Then tossed it all together with a couple of tablespoons of low calorie balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil would likely have worked well, but I was trying to use up a bottle of store-bought dressing. This quick kale salad was so yummy!