Kale salad with cranberry vinaigrette

December 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Over the course of the month that I spent more time in a plane than in a car due to travels both to see family and flying all over the country for work, I was happy to frivolously spend money on the cooking magazines that I don’t subscribe to (Fine Cooking in this case). Since they don’t really feed you on the plane any more, I just like to look at pretty pictures of delicious meals in hopes that that’ll be satisfying enough. As a bonus, I also discover new dishes to make.

This is one of those that I waited months for the perfect group to test it out, and man was it a huge success. I like a good kale salad, but I had never made one before. I know that kale and kale salads have been the trendy thing for a while now, but I couldn’t resist. This recipe with bright flavorful kale and a cranberry vinaigrette (and who knew writing a food blog would teach me how to spell vinaigrette!) seemed like a perfect and colorful addition to the holiday table.

We all decided that this dressing was really a star on its own and could work with so many different things. I’ll definitely be making this recipe again and again and playing around with different additions and substitutions here and there. I dressed the kale about an hour before we ate; the kale was perfectly tender. The orange provided a nice counter point to the cranberry, and the fresh ginger provided a really nice brightness to the overall dish.

I didn’t have access to a food processor and so chopped the fresh cranberries into small bits, but they were just loosely minced. I’m not convinced that the salad needs the fresh cranberries. Dried cranberries would be too sweet, however, and the dressing doesn’t need any more sweetness. Perhaps mincing frozen ones when fresh can’t be found any more would work, and since you only need a half a cup you can just take a small portion of the frozen ones at a time. That’ll be my next test for sure.

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The Stuff

5oz of mature curly kale leaves, trimmed and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and minced

2 tbs red wine vinegar

1 tbs cranberry juice

1 tbs honey

4 tbs olive oil

1 – 2 tsp freshly grated ginger (add ginger to taste, I liked it closer to 1)

salt and pepper to taste

1 medium navel orange in 1/4-1/2 inch pieces (cut the top and bottom off of the orange, stand it on it’s end and with a paring knife cut off the peal and pith in strips, cut out the orange segments)

The Dressing

1. Whisk the vinegar, cranberry juice and honey in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Whisk in the ginger and minced cranberries. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Toss the kale in the dressing, season with salt and pepper.

3. Let sit for at least 15 minutes but up to an hour and a half. Toss in the orange pieces and eat it up!

fennel and celery salad

January 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

some fennel

3 celery ribs, trimmed

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste

Salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste

Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.

1. Cut fennel bulbs in quarters lengthwise, discarding outer layer if it is exceedingly tough. Use a mandoline to slice quarters thinly; slice celery equally thin.

2. Put sliced fennel and celery into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. Top with lots of freshly shaved Parmesan and chopped fennel fronds if you like.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

thai peanut salad

January 27, 2010 § 1 Comment

 

Saté Chicken Salad
From Gourmet, May 2009

1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
1 large garlic clove
1 (1-inch) piece peeled ginger
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural-style)
6 tablespoons warm water
3 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
3 cups sliced or coarsely shredded rotisserie chicken
1 pound coleslaw mix
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced diagonally
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Accompaniment: lime wedges

Pulse peanuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped, then transfer to a bowl.

With motor running, drop garlic and ginger through feed tube and fi nely chop. Add peanut butter, water, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and red-pepper flakes and blend until smooth.

Toss chicken and vegetables with enough dressing to coat, then sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro.

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