Demo: Kale Salad

Kale Salad

This is a raw kale recipe that a customer described to me one day while I was at the demo counter preparing something else with kale (I love kale!). She was very enthusiastic, so I took some quick notes hoping to recreate what sounded like a kale caesar salad to me. I tested it out on some Healthy Living staff to rave reviews, and have since found out that this combination of ingredients isn’t entirely unique.  Delicious, though.

The kale used for today’s demo salad was delicious- Siberian kale from Jericho Settlers Farm. The leaves are a dusty gray green, large, only slightly wavy and the bunches are huge. For this recipe only half of a bunch was needed. It is easy to remove the leaves from the stalks. Hold the bottom of a stalk in your left hand (if you are right handed, reverse if a lefty), holding a large sharp knife in your right hand, glide the blade up the stalk on each side, stem to tip, removing the leaves. Repeat with each stalk. Wash and dry well. Then bunch a handful of kale together and carefully shred into thin ribbons using the large sharp knife. Repeat until all the leaves are shredded. Place is a large bowl and one at a time, as described in the recipe, add the remaining ingredients and toss well after each addition. The idea is for the kale to wilt a bit from the addition of lemon, salt, panko bread crumbs, cheese and olive oil. The salad will continue to gain flavor if allowed to sit awhile at room temperature before serving. Best to serve the day it is made, although I have tucked leftovers into a veggie wrap and thoroughly enjoyed the salad the next day.

Other types of kale work well in this salad. Try Russian Red kale for a pretty purple green ruffly salad with a subtle aromatic flavor. If you like more lemon, try adding lemon zest using a microplaner for a nice fine shred. Today I used Vella Dry Jack rather than Parmesan cheese. Dry Jack is a wonderful hard grating cheese from California that can be used any time Parmesan is called for in a recipe. It is superbly nutty and rich tasting. This salad can be quite addicting and goes well as a side dish with meat or fish or vegetarian meal.

If you love kale as much as I do, join me in the Learning Center on Thursday, September 8th for a demonstration class, ‘Five Ways with Kale’, from 5:30-7:30. I will be showing how to make this salad as well as a few other kale favorites. Pre-register at the customer service desk or by phone. The cost is $20.

Happy Cooking! Gerda, Demo Coordinator