Wednesday, July 22, 2009
kale & olive summer salad
1 bunch kale
8 -12 good, garlicky marinated black olives
(for god's sake don't even consider canned olives)
1 clove garlic chopped (optional if not in marinade)
2-3 Tbl olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
red pepper flakes
As a rule I always cut the leaves away from the spine of kale, chard and other dark greens because I find that they are just extra work and require a second chapter to each recipe (what to do with the spines and how...). I also just don't like the texture. That said you could, if you like, cut them out and then chop them into bite size pieces and simmer, steam or boil them a few minutes before you add the leaves and they should get tender about the same time. I'm sure there are lots of nutrients getting tossed when I omit them. Your call.
So, cut the kale into bite size pieces, rinse well and drain (if you only knew how many bugs you eat a year you'd always wash your produce).
Bring salted water to a boil and add kale for about 5-7 minutes.
The leaves should be darker but still vibrant, soft but still holding there shape (not a metaphor for women of a certain age but occurring as such in my current mood)...
When the leaves are in their prime, so to speak, pluck them out with a slotted spoon or drain them in a colander and then quickly submerge the kale in a bath of ice water. This is blanching and will cool the leaves quickly so they retain their bright color and texture for the salad.
Drain the leaves and pat dry.
In a bowl, toss leaves with oil, lemon and olives. I like to slice the olives but that's usually because I forget to buy pitted ones and can't bare the thought of a friend losing a tooth on pit.
Salt, pepper and flake to taste.
Serve with lemon wedges or a fresh sardines or as a bed for an egg salad.