A little over a year ago I went to Portland for a reunion with my high school girlfriends. I hadn't seen a couple of them in many years and it was such a great time that since then, we have continued the tradition. Our friend who was generous enough to host all of us at her house cooked an delicious meal! She made gourmet homemade pizzas and kale salad. (She is the "foodie" in our group and has since opened a neighborhood pub called Tabor Tavern in Portland with her husband...I have yet to get back up there to visit, but I've heard it's amazing and can't wait to eat there!) I had never really known what to do with kale, even though it was becoming all the rage… It was so delicious that I had to ask her for the recipe. The recipe is a True Food Kitchen restaurant exclusive which is Dr. Weil's restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona. It's a traditional Tuscan salad made from strips of Italian black kale, fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, crushed garlic, red pepper flakes, grated sheep's cheese, and bread crumbs. It's bright and refreshing and the combined flavors are wonderful.
Dr. Weil uses food as medicine. He says… "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."
It's SO delicious as is obviously, but since I'm now living a Paleo lifestyle…. I make a few "tweaks" that I'll mention below.
- 4-6 cups kale, loosely packed, sliced leaves of Italian black (A.K.A. Lacinato, "dinosaur", cavolo nero) midribs removed.
This kind of kale looks like this….
Remove the midribs, by sliding it off with your hands or cutting out with a knife…wash and dry the leaves.
Take several leaves at a time, roll them up tightly and slice with a sharp knife widthwise to create thin strips…imagine how you would "chiffonade" basil, same idea...
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed
- salt and pepper, to taste
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2/3 cup grated Pecorino Toscano cheese made from sheep's milk (Rosselino variety if you can find it) I have only found this at Whole Foods. -or other flavorful grating cheese such as Asiago or Parmesan. These work great too but I've noticed these are saltier so adjust salt when you use these. (optional...sheep dairy is still dairy...so not Whole30 approved;)
- 1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs from lightly toasted bread. (For Paleo, I've been substituting almond meal, still gives it great texture)
- Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a generous pinch (or more to taste) of hot red pepper flakes.
- Pour over kale in serving bowl and toss well. I toss it with my hands (yes, I wash them first), I know that might be weird for some of you, but I just love the feel of the kale strips between my fingers as I toss it. If you try it you just might love it too :)
- Add 2/3 of the cheese and toss again.
- Let kale sit for at least 5 minutes. Add bread crumbs (or almond meal;), toss again, and top with remaining cheese.
This recipe serves 4-6. It has over 41 grams of fiber!
This kale salad is delicious alongside anything you make but last night I added chicken right to it and made a meal out of it! Kale doesn't wilt once the dressing is on either…so it keeps in the fridge for later…if there's any left!
My "sidekick" while I'm cooking…. :) Ever get that feeling someone's watching you? I look over and this is what I see, made me laugh...