Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kale, No Excuses

OK, one more kale recipe - this one's got a fantastically light yet flavorful peanut dressing.  We have now gathered here no fewer than four, count 'em, four delicious recipes for kale, ensuring you have plenty of options and no excuses for not getting enough dark leafy greens, a crucial source of calcium, fiber, iron, and a million other good-for-you things.

I promise to move onto another food group with my upcoming posts, but this one I couldn't resist sharing.  Thank you, Judy Lewenthal Daniel, for turning me on to the website TheKitchn (www.thekitchn.com) from whence this recipe and the accompanying photo hail.

When I make this salad I screw around with the ratio of kale to peppers to carrots depending on what I have in the fridge, but recommend you always have one of the sweet red/orange variety to balance the bitterness in the kale and the acidity of the vinegar.  The dressing recipe is perfect, so don't mess with it.

This salad is so freakin' delicious!

Kale Slaw with Peanut Dressing
serves 6 to 8
2 large bunches curly or lacinato kale, about 2 pounds
2 red bell peppers, cleaned and cut into fine strips
1 large carrot, peeled
3/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts, divided
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
Fold each leaf of kale in half lengthwise and slice out the center rib. Discard ribs. Roll a stack of the leaves up and slice in half lengthwise, then crosswise into very fine ribbons. You will have 10 to 12 cups of finely chopped kale in the end. Wash and rinse thoroughly in a salad spinner.
Toss the kale with the sliced bell peppers. Slice the carrot very thin, either by creating curls with a peeler, or by running the halved carrot lengthwise down a mandoline. Toss with the kale, red pepper, and 1/2 cup of the peanuts.
In a chopper or small food processor, briefly puree the remaining 1/4 cup peanuts, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper flakes. Pulse it just a few times; the peanuts should be partially pureed, but with some nibs and nubs still left in the dressing. (The texture difference between the whole peanuts, ground peanuts, and pureed peanuts in the sauce is one of the things that makes this slaw so wonderful.)
Toss the dressing with the slaw and let it sit for at least a few minutes before serving.

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