Archive for the 'greens' Category

28
Feb
11

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad

I intended to make a kale caesar. My friends Nancy and Jeremy raved about one they made last month — a true caesar salad, with a creamy dressing from egg yolks and anchovies. It sounded interesting. I picked up the ingredients. I started to measure. Then I looked at my mortar and pestle and thought about how much I didn’t want to use it to pound the anchovies into a paste. Yes, I chickened out. I made this kale salad instead.

Why kale? The past two weekends of decent temperatures have made me crave green. Spring is flirting with us here in St. Louis. Crocuses are blooming in our front yard, and a couple of days last week were warm enough to shed coats. But then, sadly, spring scampered off  today and the cold returned.  It’s gray, gray, gray. And I want green — green leaves, green grass, and green food.

I used to shy from raw kale. Then last summer, I had a phenomenal salad of kale and red cabbage while passing through Boulder, Colorado. I still think about it. For best results, use Tuscan/lacinato kale if you make this. It’s also called dinosaur or black kale. The leaves are more tender. This is a strong-tasting salad, as you’d expect from raw kale. The lemon, garlic and Pecorino offset the bitterness of the leaves. It’s incredibly nutritious — exactly what we all need after months of gray weather. The beauty of this salad is that it won’t wilt. Dress it, put it in the fridge and it’s just as good the next day.

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad
New York Times, Oct. 24, 2007

1 bunch Tuscan kale (also known as black, dinosaur or lacinato kale)
1/4 cup homemade bread crumbs (coarse) [I used crumbled up croutons]
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino cheese, more for garnish
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for garnish
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

1. Wash the kale. Trim bottom 2 inches of the stems and throw them out. Slice kale, including ribs, into 3/4-inch-wide ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place the kale in a large bowl.

2. If making homemade bread crumbs, toast a slice of bread until golden on both sides. Tear it into small pieces and grind in a food processor until mixture forms coarse crumbs. If using croutons, grind in a food pro until crumbs are coarse.

3. Pound garlic into a paste using a mortar and pestle. Transfer garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper flakes and black pepper, and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over kale and toss very well to combine (dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat leaves).

4. Let salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with bread crumbs, additional cheese and a drizzle of oil.

Serves 2 to 4.

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29
Oct
10

Gumbo Z’Herbes

This isn’t your typical gumbo. It has no okra, no shrimp, no andouille. This is a greens dish. I don’t know about you, but some times I crave meals like this.

The history of this gumbo is interesting. Catholics in Louisiana traditionally served it during Lent, and particularly on Good Friday when they were to abstain from meat. It typically has seven types of greens for good luck — mustard greens, collard greens, cabbage, beet greens, turnip greens, spinach and parsley. As time went on, Louisianans began sneaking in meat for added flavor. Some used seafood. This recipe calls for smokey ham.

This gumbo is a tonic. The greens — several pounds of them — cook down until they’re soft and silky, and then infuse your body with just about every nutrient and mineral imaginable.  Hot sauce is essential here. Even if you’re not a fan of heat, add a shake or two to your bowl and see what you think. It adds an extra layer of favor.

If you can’t find all the greens listed here (because they aren’t always available), don’t fret. Just add more of the other greens to compensate. Do try, however, to maintain the ratio of bitter and mild greens. The mix of  sweet and pungent makes for a more complex, though subtle, flavor. No matter the combination, however, this should turn out great.

Continue reading ‘Gumbo Z’Herbes’




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