Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Kale Salad with Dried Fruit and Pine Nuts

So as I told you last week, I went to a family gathering for Easter and I was asked to make a Kale Salad and forgot to post the recipe - so here it is for those in the family who asked for it. If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know I've already made several kinds. So I wanted to make something a little different.  I decided to use dried fruits because I wanted to create a jewel-toned look. I dehydrated some dried Tart Cherries, some Cranberries and some Golden Raisins so they would be a bit softer although you can skip this step if you want. Then I used some Pine Nuts as a little bit of a different texture, since they are a similar size. I used Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale and sliced it very thin in the Chiffonade style and I made a dressing with Raspberry Vinegar, which is a little sweet and of course, Olive Oil. It was beautiful and delicious too!  I liked the Kale cut up this way much better than in bigger pieces and the sweetness of the fruit and the dressing took away the bitterness of the Kale (my biggest complaint about it as a vegetable). I loved the Pine Nuts on the salad too. We served it with a sprinkling of Parmesan and it was a big hit!

Kale Salad with Dried Fruit and Pine Nuts

2 bunches of Lacinato Kale, washed
1/4 cup each - Dried Tart Cherries, Dried Cranberries, Dried Golden Raisins
1 cup Boiling Water for rehydrating the fruit
1/3 cup Pine Nuts
1/3 cup Raspberry Vinegar (or use Balsamic)
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons minced Shallot (1 smallish bulb)
Optional:  1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Strip the Kale leaves from the center stem. Then roll up and slice into thin strips. Place in the salad bowl. In another bowl, soak the dried fruit in the boiling water. When soft (it only takes a few minutes), drain and reserve. Toast the Pine Nuts in a small frying, watching carefully and stirring so they don't burn.  remove to a plate and cool. 

In a small bowl, mix together the Raspberry Vinegar, Olive Oil, Sugar, Salt and the Shallot pieces.  Stir to combine and pour over the Kale. Toss to combine well and use your hands to massage the dressing in a little. Let the salad marinate for at least 15 minutes. When ready to serve, sprinkle the Salad with the Fruit, Pine Nuts and Parmesan Cheese to serve.

Five Element Analysis

Kale is a dark green and leafy vegetable so it belongs to both the Water and Wood Elements. The Water Element is further enhanced by the Pine Nuts and the Wood Element is given more strength from the Vinegar and Olive Oil. The dried Cherries and Cranberries belong to the Fire Element and the Golden Raisins make sure that the Earth Element has a presence too. Lastly, the Parmesan Cheese and Shallot contribute the Metal Element. This then is a nearly balanced Five Element Salad. Just be sure to add a little more Earth to your meal!

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