Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday Dinner: Tuscan Kale Salad Recipe

A good friend whom I haven't seen in years is coming for dinner with her daughter. I won't say how many years we've known each other, let's just say when we were roommates, our music playlists (aka vinyl records) included James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd. 

As we will have been out at the art shows all day, we are planning a simple menu for tonight. Besides, it's more about the wine and nibbles and catching up. We're going to serve grilled chicken, quinoa salad and this amazing kale salad (and more wine, of course). 

photo by Ditta Isager

This salad will change your life, no exaggeration, and no, I haven't lost my mind and turned into a food blogger. For those of you who know me, which is anyone reading this, given my very select audience at this stage, you know that I would never present myself as a cook. I leave that to a pro, my husband, but over the past couple of years we have become passionate about eating healthy and organic where / whenever possible. After lots of research we have come to ardently believe in the concept of food as medicine and when it comes to the pursuit of all things yummy and healthy, Kale is at the top of our list, but it can be bitter and tough if you don't make it just right.

Kale salad is great for dinner parties, easy to make ahead and we always get requests for the recipe, so I thought I would share it here. It's also great as a simple Sunday supper when served with soup and warm sourdough bread. Listen, if I'm swapping recipes, you know it's easy. 

This is from the recently published cook book by Dr. Andrew Weil, the fore-father of the food-as-medicine approach to health. True Food  Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure. is beautifully shot by the talented Ditte Isager. It's an inspiring cookbook and meets all of our criteria for easy, delicious and healthy recipes and has become our trusted everyday source:

True Food Tuscan Salad
Serves 4-6

4-6 cups kale, loosely packed, sliced leaves of Italian black (Lacinato, "dinosaur," cavolo nero) midribs removed
juice of 1 lemon
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, mashed
salt & pepper, to taste
hot red pepper flakes, to taste
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Toscano cheese (Rosselino variety if you can find it) or other flavorful grating cheese such as Asiago or Parmesan
1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs from lightly toasted bread

  1. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a generous pinch (or more to taste) of hot red pepper flakes.
  2. Pour over kale in serving bowl and toss well.
  3. Add 2/3 of the cheese and toss again.
  4. Let kale sit for at least 5 minutes. Add bread crumbs, toss again, and top with remaining cheese.
Nutritional Info
Nutrients per serving: Calories 20g  Protein: 8g  Total Fat:12.17g  Carbohydrate: 11.66g Fiber: 41.66g Cholesterol: 8.83mg

Food Fun Fact: 
Kale is among the most nutrient-dense commonly eaten vegetables. One cup provides 1,327 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin K, 192 percent of DV for vitamin A, and 88 percent for vitamin C.

"True Food Kitchen:  we want you to feel better, live longer, and make your mouth happy in the process."   

Can't argue with that. Enjoy!

Dr. Weil and Chef Michael Stebner  how-to video

For more information on:  Dr. Andrew Weil and the Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid

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