Saturday, June 30, 2012

Quinoa and Kale Salad

I've never bought kale before.  To me, it's not even a garnish, it's what's under the real food at salad bars and buffets.  Until a year or two ago, I didn't even realize it was edible.  But it's supposed to be very good for you, so I'm giving it a shot.  Just to be safe, I picked up a bunch of flat-leaf Italian parsley, in case I didn't like the kale.

The advantage of this salad is that, if you have leftover quinoa in the fridge or freezer and some roasted peppers, you don't have to cook anything.  Or you could omit the peppers.  This salad is also nutritious and filling without the cheese.  I just think everything tastes better with cheese.  Be brave and go vegan if you want.  This is also a healthier alternative to cole slaw or potato salad at your next barbecue, and travels to the beach or a picnic better because the foods in it (except the cheese) are low-risk.

1 bunch (5 or 6 stems) kale
2/3 C dry quinoa (or 3 C cooked)
1/2 tsp salt
clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 Tb olive oil
1 roasted red pepper
1/4 C crumbled feta or gorgonzola cheese

1.  Rinse quinoa if necessary.  Cook according to directions, adding the minced garlic to the water.  (Most likely, bring quinoa and 1-1/2 C water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.)

2.  While quinoa is cooking, wash kale and cut leaves off the stems.  Cut the kale in a thin chiffonade and place in a large bowl with the salt.  "Massage" the kale, which means kneading the stuffing out of it, for about 10 minutes, until it becomes moist and soft.  Raw kale is too tough to chew if your fingers don't do some of the work.  Drain off any pooled moisture and set aside.

3.  Fluff quinoa and remove from heat.  In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, lime juice, pepper, and olive oil.  Pour over kale and toss to coat.  Stir in quinoa.  The heat of the grain will cook the kale slightly, without making it limp.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

4.  To serve, transfer salad to serving bowl.  Top with bite-sized pieces of roasted red peppers and crumbled cheese.  Serve either chilled or at room temperature.

Serves 6 to 8

Difficulty rating :)

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