Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lacinato , make me smile !

I don't know if anyone else has a difficult time actually finding lacinato kale, but I do! Usually whatever store I shop at only has curly kale, the super green, hardy stalked, bitter, peppery kind. (which I also love) However.... at the farmer's market... Lacinato kale was out in full force for just $3 a bunch. Angels were singing when I saw my bunch of lacinato. So dramatic, I know. But really, this stuff is like gold. It's got all the health benefits and punchy flavors of the curly kale, but it's soft. Which is what I've been looking for lately in a leafy green salad. I've been wanting to make a big fat antioxidant rich GREEN salad for a long time, but romaine hasn't been making the cut lately. I've just been over using regular kale for the moment because it's SO much work chomping through it. Here's what's so amazing about lacinato: The leaves are so soft and green and big... but the skinny little stalk down the center still holds it's own. So you get the perfect balance of light and crunch from one ingredient. It's Heaven! Need I say more?

Here's what you'll need: (ps- you'll have to just improvise as far as amounts go, I was making this for myself to last probably 2 or 3 days so... make according to your plans!)

  • 1 big bunch of lacinato kale
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced! The thinner the better!
  • 1 blood orange, or regular if that's all you've got!
  • fresh cut strawberries, the smaller the pieces, the more fun!
  • golden raisins
  • goat's cheese- I used gorgonzola here, but I highly regret it. I think I'm sick of gorgonzola for the moment and I would've preferred either goat's, feta, or even bleu cheese crumbles.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • seasoned salt
  • sea salt
  • cracked black pepper
First let's slice the onion and then get these babies started. You're going to caramelize these so we'll let them cook and get translucently golden while you prep the other ingredients. Slice the onion thin, drizzle some olive oil and seasoned salt in a skillet and pop them over the stove on medium heat.
Now let's wash your kale. If you don't have a salad spinner, buy one. Seriously, the best $20 you'll ever spend. Gather all the leaves lengthwise in a big bunch, pinch it tight at the end you're going to chop and thinly chop it. Gather it all in a big pretty salad bowl.
Check on your onions and stir them... they should be getting golden and smelling delicious!
Now let's make some orange juice. This is going to be used basically as your very light, very healthy dressing for the salad. First, soften the orange by rolling it on the counter and applying pressure. This will make it so much easier to juice it, especially if you're doing it by hand like I did. No, I don't own a proper juicer. Now slice your orange in half and juice both sides. I mean, really juice it, too. Don't leave anything behind. Then pour your freshly squeezed juice all over the kale.
Now toss in your raisins!
Now let's wash and slice your strawberries... yes, these are the beautiful, sweet berries I got at the farmer's market that I used in the strawberry banana bread yesterday. Is it just me or do you like making "pretty scraps" out of all your throwaway produce parts? I think it's fun to make your trash pile look nice! Why not, right? I kept my empty orange rinds to throw those cute little berry tops into. :) What a happy little pile to look at while I'm slicing!
see what I mean?? :) so pretty!

Now let's check on our onions... they're probably done! If they look good to you, go ahead and plop them right on top of the salad. Yes, while they're warm, along with all their oil.
 oh my gosh I just love caramelized onions. 
Now toss your cheese on top. It's a good thing if it gets just a little melty from the heat of the onions. Adds a little more texture! :)
 Let's add the finishing touches and you're done! Drizzle on some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and ENJOY!
Serve this up by itself, with some crusty italian loaf, or even with some grilled chicken thrown on top for more of a hardier lunch or dinner salad.
 Have the best Thursday, everybody... I hope the lacinato makes you smile!

1 comment:

  1. Babe, this looks so delicious! I would eat your cooking ANY day!