Monday, December 5, 2011

Kale and Cauliflower Salad

I walked into a Walgreen's today after my workout to buy a bottle of water.  At the checkout, the cashier asked me, "Do you want to buy some candy with that?"  I looked at her crooked and said, "No, thank you."  Alarm bells going off in every way possible in my head--which must have shown on my face, I'm a pretty easy person to read.  She then says to me, in a low voice, her eyes darting to the back of the store, "It's terrible, I know, I have to ask every customer if they want candy when they check out.  It's bad, right?  I have to ask the parents when the children are standing right there."  I told her, yes, that's too bad she had to do that and that I hoped she hung in there.

The opposite of having candy with your water purchase is this salad.  I tailor this to every season, keeping the kale and dressing constant and varying the bits that garnish it. It's a raw salad, but the preparation allows the kale to get tender and very easy to eat.  The best thing about eating this salad is that you feel like you are really doing something great for your body while eating it.  This does take several hours to cure, so this is one you need to plan ahead on.

Kale and Cauliflower Salad

for the dressing:  
1 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil 
1 1/2 TBSP. organic rice wine vinegar
pinch of sea salt and pepper each

whisk together ingredients and set aside.

for the salad:
1 bunch organic kale (I used lacinato kale from Tomatero)
1-2 organic lemons (you can use meyer lemons or eureka lemons based on your tartness preference)

1/4 head cauliflower--(this pic was from Tomatero yesterday) cut into little bitty florets
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup dried cherries (Neufeld had both Rainer and Bing) cherries and I liked the color contrast although their flavors are similar.  You can skip the fruit if you are watching your sugar intake, but they do provide a nice break in the overall flavor of the dish

Wash and dry the kale.  Chop it horizontally in 2 inch strips.  In a large non-reactive bowl start tearing the pieces of kale down removing the thicker stems as you go.  Get them down to bite sized pieces, not confetti.  Do this with your hands, don't chop it.  The actual action of tearing the pieces starts to release the nutrients in the kale and allows you better access to them.  Squeeze the lemons over all the kale, grabbing, squeezing and tearing it for about 1 min.  The color should change from a bright green to a darker green.  Add the remaining ingredients, add the dressing, and toss to coat.  Add a little salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours.  Even better overnight, but not more than 2 days.  It'll get very stinky if you let it go too long.

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