Tart and refreshing, with a hearty crunch from the toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), this salad is about as healthy as a salad can be. The goat cheese is optional, to make it vegan-friendly as well. You see, I received a giant bunch of curly kale in my CSA (community-supported agriculture) box and needed to find something to do with it using supplies already at hand. Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food came to my rescue, sparking this idea. I wandered a bit from the original recipe – for example, it calls for poppy seeds but I substituted pepitas because, well, that’s what I had, plus poppy seeds always get stuck in one’s teeth, don’t they. Humph. Continue reading
If I might make an observation, IT’S FULL-ON SUMMER here! So maybe you don’t feel like cranking up the oven. Instead, you might want a light but hearty, protein-filled salad for dinner. And wouldn’t it be great if you could make it from items you can keep handy in the pantry, with a few fresh ingredients to liven things up? A tip: put all your canned ingredients in the fridge before you leave for work. Then when you get home, throw this together, and it will already be chilled and you can nom-nom it right away! This is a super-flexible recipe, so if you haven’t got hard-cooked eggs or artichoke hearts already at hand, just leave them out or sub in something else you do have that you think would be nice. It will be OK. Promise. Continue reading
Make a lot, use a little! I make a batch and keep it in a squirt bottle devoted to this purpose, which I drew lines on for the correct proportions every time. This stays good for several weeks in the fridge… I’m not exactly sure how long, because I have never ever had a batch go bad… it gets used up! This recipe lasts 2-3 salads in our household, and it’s useful for sandwiches, wraps, or to drizzle over a rice, bean & veg bowl, as well.
If you have leftovers, you will want to remove it from the fridge 15-20 minutes before you want to use it, to allow it to come up to room temperature (olive oil solidifies when chilled). You can also run the bottle under some warm tap water, if you forgot to take it out. Shake well and use!
The basic proportion for most salad dressings is two parts oil to one part vinegar. The mustard serves as an emulsifier to keep the oil & vinegar bound together. You can use other thick things as an emulsifier, like mayo. And now that you know this, you need never ever buy salad dressing again, nor must you fret over strange and unpronounceable ingredients therein. You’re welcome. Continue reading
So, apparently kale becomes a different thing altogether, and much more likable, if you *massage* it. Really. (I am sure the same could be said of certain people, self included.)
The avocado becomes the dressing, so you don’t need much oil. If there’s an unsuspecting, uncertain-about-kale person around, you should give them the job of doing the massaging. Just put everything in the bowl, tell your friend to wash their hands and massage the salad. This is what will happen:
Friend (dubious expression): Really?
You: Really. Just rub the avocado into the kale. OK? (turn away and become busy with another very important kitchen task)
Friend (massaging away): Um, OK… Hey, this is fun. Oh… my hands are all avocado-y. (turns towards kitchen sink, licks fingers on the way) – YUMMMM!! OMG. Wait, what did you say was in this??
You: *secret smirk* Continue reading