The first time I really had kale was fresh from my garden. Why would I plant a bold veggie with out knowing what it tastes like? Well, it happened like this, my younger brother was living with us at the time and I asked him to pick up some seeds for me. I was at home with a 2 year old and a new born so if the store didn't sell applesauce or have a kids play area with a comfy chair to nurse in, I was not going. He asked me what I wanted and I said something like "you know lettuce, peas, zucchini what ever will grow." I ended up with two varieties of kale, arugula, broccoli rabe, swiss chard and some variety of squash that seemed to be a cross between a pumpkin and zucchini. My brother was fresh out of college and going through what we lovingly called a "hippie phase", although it turned out not to be a phase. Needless to say he helped me get all the seeds into the garden in the early spring, and by May I had bunches and bunches of greens! I combed the internet and found dozens of delicious salads with arugula or massaged kale and fell in love with braised swiss chard and let a whole row of broccoli rabe go to seed. Oddly enough I ended up with what might be the only 4 year old who gobbles up kale salad and asks for more!
As you may know, it can be a bit of a chore to chop and rub all of that beautiful deep green curled kale until it is the perfect texture so I devised a short cut for this salad. I pulse it in small batches in the food processor with just a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt and it chops and massages the kale at the same time! This cuts the prep time down by more than half. The kale is paired with wild rice which I love because it is gluten free and vitamin rich, crunchy toasted walnuts and the pomegranate seeds which add a burst of sweet juice. Try it out! This salad is great along with a brothy soup on a chilly winter night.
Gently Massaged Kale, Wild Rice and Pomegranate Salad
- 2 bunches curly green or purple kale
- seeds from 1 pomegranate
- 1 cup cooked wild rice, chilled
- 1/2 cup freshly toasted walnuts
- 1 T olive oil to massage kale
- dash of sea salt
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 1T fresh tarragon
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 T water
- 1/2 T apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 T raw honey
- sea salt to taste
Wash kale and remove stems. In a food processor pulse three or four leaves at a time with a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt, repeat with remaining kale. Using a heavy pan toast walnuts over medium heat until fragrant, tossing frequently. In a large bowl toss kale with chilled rice, pomegranate seeds and cooled walnuts. Whisk together the dressing and drizzle over salad, toss and serve. Enjoy!!
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