I know, you're a brave soul to see 'raw kale' and have the fortitude to continue reading. But you will be rewarded with a fresh and tasty salad that is nourishing and healthy.
And if your garden is anything like mine, you are looking for something to make a dent in the kale that has taken over and daily comes closer to turning into a small forest.
Kale is a power food, and is related to cabbage and broccoli. It has loads of vitamins (A, B6, C, K) plus fiber, iron, calcium and phytochemicals that protect cells and help eye health. Eating more kale is a good thing to do.
I grow two varieties: Lacinato and Red Russian. Both are from Seed Saver's Exchange, a fabulous source of heirloom and rare seeds. Lacinato, also known as Dinosaur or Nero di Toscana kale, is an Italian heirloom that produces strappy, rumply, 12 to 18 inch long deep blue-green blades that taste mineral and deeply vegetal. Red Russian forms a beautiful purple-veined grey-green frilly leaf with a sweet and tender flavor. I had much better sprouting success with the Red Russian, so it dominates the garden this year.
I have played fast and loose with a salad from Dr. Terry Whals that was sold briefly at my local food co-op. She has an amazing story of overcoming multiple sclerosis through intensive nutrition. Kale plays a large part in her philosophy of recovery.
Citrus and raw kale salad.
Serves 4 to 6 as a side or starter.
1 large bunch of kale leaves (I used 8 Lacinato and 8 Red Russian), washed, rinsed and with tough stems removed.
1 head of roasted garlic, cloves squeezed out, or 2 to 8 cloves of minced raw garlic
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup dried tart cherries
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Stack two or three kale leaves on top of each other and roll up tightly the long way like a green and ruffly cigar. Slice into thin 1/4 inch strips, fluff, and place in a bowl. Continue until all kale is sliced.
Segment your orange and grapefruit, making sure to keep the juice that drips out. Here is a photographic guide to segmenting your citrus. Cut any citrus wedges into smaller, bite-sized pieces if you want, or leave whole for a more visually impressive presentation. Add to the bowl with the kale.
In a bowl, put 3 tablespoons of citrus juice left over from segmenting the citrus (squeeze the remaining trimmed bits if necessary), the roasted or chopped garlic, and the remaining liquid ingredients: the sesame oil, vinegar and tamari or soy sauce. Whisk until combined, add salt and pepper to taste, and pour over the kale and citrus and mix thoroughly.
Plate up individually and garnish with the dried cherries and almonds, or add them and mix into the salad along with the dressing.
Kale is so sturdy that, unlike with most dressed salads, this stores in the refrigerator just fine for a few days. You can easily make this ahead of time.