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!

zucchini cakes

October 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

Look! I made Aine-friendly crab cakes! Added bonus: they make for an awfully quick dinner, and may save you a trip to the grocer. That, my friends, is what I like in a dinner. In the alternative, they’d also make for rather nice appetizers.

anyway, here we go:

yield: 8 cakes
NB: if you’re serving this as a dinner-salad topping, i’d say it serves 2-3. if it’s an app (and your friends are polite) then it serves, um, 8.

the stuff:
•1 large grated zucchini. after the zucchini has been grated, press between a dishtowl or papertowel to remove excess moisture.
•1/2 c. parm (grated or cheese of the drier pre-grated variety. no scary shake-stuff).
•1 cup bread crumbs (panko or italian– i used the latter, because it lives in my kitchen).
•appx. 1/8 t ground nutmeg (unless you really dig the nutmeg, less is more)
•1/4 t paprika
•1 clove garlic, minced
•1 egg
•salt and pepper to taste
•1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1.Combine all ingredients, save the olive oil, in a bowl. mix completely. this is one of those instances where i’d reccomend the old wash-hands-thoroughly-and-use-them method, unless you have fancy kitchen equipment i’m lacking.
Form into 8 patties (for me, each patty was a slight palmful)

2.Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Post-heating and pre-smoking, add patties and cook until golden brown (that’s about 3-4 mins. per side). About 3-4 minutes per side.

serving notes: as dinner, i’d serve atop a bed of mixed greens with some light aioli, green goddess, or (cringe) ranch as a dressing.

as an app, i’d make the same available for dipping.

as leftovers, they make a wonderful quick breakfast.

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