Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Partners & Massaged Kale Salad

Having a partner makes life better, in just about every way.  Without a partner, there’s no one to push you in the swing, to point out the spinach in your teeth, to cajole you out of a bad mood, to take risks with you, or to celebrate triumphs—for either one or both.  Good partnerships are formed from great friendships—ones in which each partner has the other persons best interest at heart.

McKenzie and I are blessed to have a good partnership and a great friendship.

Nourish is now over one year old, and we are a bit awed at how quickly we’ve grown—from dreams scribbled on a paper in a Seattle restaurant, to many of those dreams becoming reality.  Wow. 

We’re creating the life we want to live and hopefully inspiring people along the way, helping others to live their best lives.

Kale salad doesn’t really have anything to do with partnership, but this recipe was inspired by our last business trip together in California, when we ate at one of our favorite restaurants in Venice, Gjelina.  It's a great salad for these last days of winter, while you're waiting for the spring vegetables to hit the farmer's markets.

Raw kale has to be coaxed into something silky and delicious, something you not only want to eat, but something you crave.  This salad has that capacity.

First, you strip the kale stems from the leaves and place the leaves in a large bowl.

Next, you sprinkle the kale leaves with a little sea salt and then you get in the bowl with your hands, rubbing and massaging the kale until it turns from dull green, to a bright, shiny green.  It should feel silky between your fingers.  Then, it’s ready to be dressed as your favorite salad.

This is inspired by Gjelina’s.  

Kale Salad with Fennel, Radish & Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Serves 6 - 10

2 bunches kale, washed, stemmed and cut or torn into small strips
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
4 radishes thinly sliced
3 ounces aged goat cheese (such as goat gouda) or ricotta salata
¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds 

Lemon Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest of one lemon, if desired
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice and zest, parsley, salt and pepper.  Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil. 

To make the salad, begin by massaging the kale.  Massaging the kale with salt makes it more tender and sweet.  Place the washed, stemmed and cut kale into a very large bowl.  Sprinkle with salt (about ¼ teaspoon).  Take your hands and crush and massage the kale leaves between your hands, until you see the kale turn a dark, shiny green. 

Toss together the massaged kale with the fennel bulb, radishes, aged goat cheese and pumpkin seeds.  Pour vinaigrette over and toss again.

This is delicious on its own as an appetizer or side dish, or as a main course topped with chicken, salmon, or a whole grain (such as farro or quinoa).

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