Monday, August 8, 2011

Mediterranean Kale Salad

Previously posted on:
July 28, 2009
Not only does this salad taste fantastic, it will make you feel fantastic, because it is so great for you body! 
I love Super Foods, and I love to share my ideas in the kitchen, in hopes that somebody somewhere will make the effort to go raw, or at least go somewhat raw.  I love it when people try something I have made raw, and their whole perception of a raw food diet is shattered!  It's just as exciting as the gourmet fanciful feast, infact, for me, it usually is a gourmet fanciful feast!  It isn't more difficult to eat raw foods, infact, I think it is so much easier in many ways.  And, I hardly ever need to wipe down my stove top anymore!  Actually, I have placed my wooden cutitng board over one of the front burners so I can increase my counter space and prep area.  So its a win-win situation.  Not to mention all the energy I have, and the weight I've lost, and my skin....ok, you get the point.

For this raw kale salad, you will be processing the kale the same way as in the Sweet Kale, Cabbage and Beet Coleslaw, so start by de-veining the leaves, and rolling up the leaves together, and slicing thin, so you end up with thin strips.  Then place it all in a big mixing bowl, and sprinkle about a teaspoon of sea salt on the kale.  I used Hickory Smoked Sea Salt...I just love the stuff!  Then massage the salt into the kale.  You will feel the kale start to soften and moisten as the water inside the cells diffuses out (Botany classes did me well, here!).  Once your pile of kale has shrunk to almost half, it is wilted and ready for the next step.  Chop the remaining ingredients and pile on top of the kale.  Once you have everything done, just toss with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  So good!

OK, here is the list of ingredients for this spectacular and beautiful salad:

Mediterranean Kale Salad
about two bunches of kale, sliced in thin strips.  
one yellow bell pepper, diced
3 medium sized tomatos, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
about 3/4 cup or so of sliced kalamata olives
1/2 cup or so of pine nuts
big handfull of fresh basil, sliced in thin strips
small handfull of fresh oregano, minced 
1 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp of olive oil
Isnt it so colorful??!  So this picture was taken before I added the pine nuts, but I wanted you to see what my approximate quantities of ingredients looks like in the bowl.  I hardly ever measure, however, I did measure the balsamic and olive oil this time mainly because I did not want the balsamic flavor to take over, and be a wet tart salad.  This salad has so many flavors bursting out of it, between the bell peppers, thea basil and the kalamatas, the balsamic is merely to add a touch of sweet/tart, and enhance all the other flavors as well.  Olive oil is very good for you raw (cold pressed, of course).  We need to eat good fats for optimal systems operations.  The key is moderation, not exccesive.  I tend to use a lot of olive oils in my salad dressings, but I also make bigger batches of dressings, so it works out proportionately.  And as always, you may substitute or blend different oils, like flax or hemp seed oils. 

I was in my garden earlier before making this salad, and harvested some Red Russian Kale, and some Purple Curly Kale, and this salad has the mixture of them both.  I am thinking that it was maybe just unter the equivelent of what two bunches of kale looks like in the grocery store, so again, always walk on the light side of things.  Start small, taste, and adjust.  I have been working in the kitchen so long, that I have a real feel for how much is enough, but I have ruined a few things.  I think every great chef has ruined a few dishes developing new and creative recipes.

One tip about mixing this salad: use two forks to blend it all up.  The kale tends to clump together, so you need to force it to blend with the other ingredients.  Just like in the Sweet Kale, Cabbage and Beet Coleslaw.
I was looking around this morning for other kale salad recipes, and found this great blog, called the Happy Foody.  With a name like that, I knew it was going to be worth checking out.  So I hope you do too!  I found this recipe for a Kale and Avocado Salad, that I would like to try my own spin on soon.  Lots of Kale in the garden right now!  So many ways to make it, I love it!

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