Posts Tagged ‘kale salad’

Holiday Salad


kale sald with apple, pomegranate and parmesan

I’d eat my mom’s winter salad almost any day of the week.  Imagine mixed greens with crunchy green apple, spiced pecans, ruby-red pomegranates and a tangy apple cider viniagrette.   Looks gorgeous on a holiday table.   But sometimes, especially when I’ve been eating gravy and garlic-mashed potatoes, buttery Parker rolls and cornbread stuffing, I yearn for an even greener salad.

You know where I’m going with this, right?

kale salad

Kale!  Our favorite wonder green.

Kale salad with pomegranates

Kale Salad with green apple, pomegranate seeds and Parmesan

Serves 6

Ingredients for dressing

2 tablespoons diced shallots

1 Tablespoon honey or agave

1 teaspoon Dijon

2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil


Combine all ingredients in a blender or cuisinart.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ingredients for salad

3 heads kale, washed, ribs removed and cut into chiffonade (both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods sell pre-cut kale)

1 pinch salt

1 pomegranate

1 green apple

1/2 lemon

Parmesan cheese, for shaving

Pecans, toasted or Sugar and Spice Pecans


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add a pinch of salt.  Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl halfway with a combination of ice and water.  Set beside stove.

Add the cut kale to the water and blanch until bright green, just 1 minute and no longer.  Use tongs or a slotted spoon and remove kale to the ice bath.  We usually make our salads with raw kale but in this instance I like the brighter color and the way in which blanching sweetens the greens and makes them easier to digest.

While the kale cools, grab an apron or large dishrag and cut your pomegranate in half horizontally.  Leaning over the sink or a large bowl, use your fingers to gently loosen the pomegranate seeds from the white pulp.  Set seeds aside and discard pulp. Cut your apple into matchsticks and toss with lemon juice.

Drain the kale and dry in a salad spinner.  This will take a few spins. Reserving a tablespoon, massage the dressing into your greens thirty minutes before serving.  Just before serving, toss the pomegranate seeds and apple slices with the reserved dressing and add to greens.  Top as desired with Parmesan shavings and pecans.


The Weekend Dish: Valentine’s Day Dinner


Hi Friends, what do you have in store this weekend in the romance department? Sarah and Angus are taking a ski trip and Drew and I are staying home re-decorating and reorganizing our apartment! Two trips to Ikea in three days might be his Valentine’s gift to me this year.

I always like to stay in on Valentine’s Day and make a super nice dinner at home. It’s cozy and relaxed, we open a special bottle of wine we have been saving and play some of our favorite albums while we cook.


This year we have a beautiful bottle of Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon my Dad gave Drew for his birthday 2 years ago. I’m planning our meal around this wine.

cheese and mortadella hearts

We will start our meal by nibbling on slices of mortadella and cheese hearts and crackers. Aww.

Kale Salad

Next we will dig into a hearty Kale Salad with crisp apples and shaved Parmesan cheese. The acid in the vinegar softens the kale leaves so they are chewy and the flavor is sweet and grassy. The apples remain crisp and the Parmesan provides the salty umami satisfaction.

sunday-suppers cookbook

For dinner I’m leaning towards Dijon and shallot crusted lamb rib chops with Suzanne Goin’s parmesan pudding. Decadent special occasion foods in our very favorite flavors.

Martha Chewy Chocolate Chunk-Cherry Cookies

Dessert has to be Martha Stewart’s Chewy Chocolate Chunk-Cherry Cookies which are truly the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever tried. Crisp outsides, chewy dark chocolaty insides (the chunks of chocolate melt into layers not lumps like chips do) and then you bite into a sweet tart dried cherry and your heart melts just a bit.



Meatless Monday: Mac and Cheese


Macaroni and cheese is so appropriate this time of year. Hearty, gooey and satisfying to the soul. Pair it with a big kale salad for dinner and you have a vegetarian feast for a crowd. Serving just your family? Portion the recipe into two smaller baking dishes and freeze one of them before baking for another night.

Mac n Cheese with orange tomatoes

Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 8-12 people


1 pound elbow macaroni

1 quart of milk

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

10 ounces Gruyere, grated (3 cups)

8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)

1 cup Parmesan cheese grated

1/2  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2  pint fresh cherry tomatoes

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a large pinch of salt. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes, do not overcook. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan but be careful not to bring it to a boil. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and and slowly whisk in the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring often. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, Parmesan and 1 tablespoon salt, pepper. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart buttered baking dish.

Stud the cherry tomatoes on top of the dish and then sprinkle the bread crumbs in an even layer. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top. Serve warm.

*The mac and cheese seen in the photo had slices of orange tomato on top instead of cherry tomatoes in honor of Halloween but I really love the pop of fresh tomato in every portion that the little guys provide.

Raw Kale Salad with Apples and Currants



Hurray it’s kale season! This salad is so clean, bright and satisfying you will start keeping a bowl of it on your fridge to nibble on all the time. The hearty texture of the kale leaves “breaks down” in the lemon vinaigrette revealing a sweet, grassy nature. The apples and currents are a burst of sweetness, the nuts add crunch and the cheese brings the salty richness to the table. I made this last week and Drew and I fought over the last bowl which I snuck while he was in the shower!


Raw Kale Salad with Apples and Currants

Adapted from the recipe by Dan Barber in Bon Appetit

Serves 4


1 bunch Tuscan kale, washed, center rib and stems removed, leaves thinly sliced

1-2 apples, diced (I like Fugi)

¼ cup of currants

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon honey

salt and pepper

toasted slivered almonds (optional)

shaved parmesan cheese (optional)


Rinse kale in cool water and pat dry with a clean towel. Pull or trim the leaves from both sides of the center rib and slice the leaves into thin ribbons. Make a vinaigrette by dissolving a large pinch of salt into the lemon juice, adding the honey and fresh ground black pepper and then whisking in 1 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss the kale in the vinaigrette and allow to sit for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Meanwhile chop the apple, toast the almond slivers and shave the parmesan. Add the apples and currants to the kale and mix well. Serve topped with shaved almonds and parmesan.


Raw, Vegetarian and Gluten Free. For a Vegan version, serve the salad with out the cheese.