The kale situation is slightly out of control here at our place. That would be, that is, at our Old Depot Farm. Lunacy International. Eccentricity Hill. Atrophy Place. Whatever you may choose to call our tiny farm. The kale is going . . . cray-cray.
I sell armloads of baby kale to fancy restaurants in the city, but the kale growth in my hoop house is outgrowing the restaurant demand at the moment, so I have the happy office of finding out how to
trick my family into eating prepare this super-wildly-nutritious green as often as possible. Anybody who reads anything about nutrition knows that one of the top recommendations of Nutrition People Who Know Things is that nobody anywhere in America (or anyplace else, probably, except for maybe Japan) eats as many fresh green leafy vegetables as they ought to.
Your body, dear Gentle Reader, is probably at this very moment screaming out for more leafy greens. You’re possibly not hearing it because you are chewing that second donut rather loudly. 😉
Even we, here in the Valley of Overwhelm, sometimes opt for
tater tots potatoes with our meals rather than leafy greens, just because they are in the freezer in a bag so easy to prepare (*cough*).
I am trying to lose a few pounds. I suspect that that seems off-point, but it’s not. I think, in a perfect world, I’d wake up craving leafy greens, not the rest of that excellent hazelnut chocolate bar that my friend Jo gave me the week that my hoop house blew all to shreds.
It was and is consoling, that chocolate, but I haven’t finished it. A perfect food in an imperfect world is something to treasure and eat very slowly, “with long teeth,” as my kids and I say. In my savoring of this excellent gift, I’ve eaten just a tiny chunk here and a little bite there. It is so rich and tasty and calorie-rich, that I can’t eat it all in one sitting. Well. I could, if I didn’t care what size jeans I wear. But I do. Plus, you may recall that I’m trying to lose a few pounds. (Thank you very much, Jo, for not not helping me one wit, in this endeavour. 😉 )
But here’s the thing: if there’s one way to prepare kale that will make it crave-worthy, THIS SALAD IS IT. Honest. Totally serious. And, as you can see, I’m not trying to sell you a thing. Especially you will be craving it (I will venture) if you make it out of baby kale, which has a milder, sweeter taste and less of a scratchy texture, too.
I wrote not long ago about how to grow baby kale for fun and profit. And here’s another thing: if you take care of the soil in your garden (you know how to do this, right? Gosh, it would be super-handy if I had a link here, to one of my own thoughtfully-written blog posts, wouldn’t it?) your soil will reward you. The soil in my hoop house is very pleased with my building it up with manure, and organic matter, and doing the aeration thing, and all the rest, and so everything in there grows like there is no tomorrow!
That, of course, includes the roughly half-acre of kale in that pampered spot.
I was especially tickled to taste this winner of a kale salad at our Ponca family camp-out, just last fall. We take turns with the meals at these rustic, lavish
eating fests camp-outs. My brother Matt and his lovely wife Paula had put out a spread that was absolutely delicious, I remember it clearly. Well . . . what I remember the most was . . . this kale salad. Honestly, as tasty as the rest of the meal was, I don’t remember the main course . . . sorry, Paula . . . 😉
I think they called it “Kale Slaw” but I have never liked the word “slaw” . . . have you? It’s just so . . . so . . . abbreviated. Silly-sounding. Insipid. Lacking. Don’t you agree: Slaw. SLAW. Slaaaaawwww.
The thing is . . . if you are going to have yourself some coleslaw, have yourself some coleslaw! But if you are going to have yourself some coleslaw, don’t call it slaw.
Thank you for your cooperation on this touchy matter. Let’s clean up our language as best we can, hmm? Hey. Let’s start a movement. Or a coalition. Yeah. I’ve always wanted to head up a coalition. The Coalition to Eliminate the Silly Word “Slaw.” That would totally be worth our time, wouldn’t it? The CTETSW”S” is what we would have embroidered on our matching polo shirts. It’s such an easy acronym to remember, too! Awesome!
And this wonderful salad–never, ever referred to as “slaw”–could be our signature dish.
I’ll call this wonderful salad by a wonderful name. 🙂
Best Shredded Kale Salad in the Land!
2 cups shredded kale, tough stems removed
2 cups shredded green (or red) cabbage
¼ cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon toasted pepitas (Spanish pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds*
2 Tablespoons toasted pepitas (or sunflower seeds, for the similarly cheapos like me)
2 Tablespoons water
2-3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
*I am usually too cheap to buy pepitas, except on very special occasions. I found–because of this inherent tightwaddery–that sunflower seeds are just as crunchy and tasty as the pepitas, without the hit to the pocketbook, either. 🙂
…and super-simple Directions: Put all the dressing ingredients into a blender and blend until combined, into a smooth and creamy consistency.
Put shredded kale, cabbage, and cranberries into a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Several hours is even better. Right before serving, sprinkle the salad with the remaining toasted pepitas (or sunflower seeds).
YUM! Now you are craving kale salad, aren’t you?
BY THE WAY . . . I am working on my new ebook . . . I won’t tell you all the particulars yet, but it has to do with chickens . . . and it’s nearly finished. 🙂 I am doing an inward happy dance right now, just savoring the idea of sharing it with you. My launch date (I chose it out of a hat) is JUNE 12th. There. I’ve said it. Now it has to happen, right?
Now I’m going to go back and finish that bowl of shredded kale salad. 🙂 Yum.
I actually am craving it.
- What’s going on at our place this April: so much sweetness!
- Edible flowers: why, how, what, and wheretofore!