Monday, January 3, 2011

A Salad For the Adventurous

Creamy Kale Salad
from a recipe as seen in Whole Living Magazine
Above you'll find a photo of all of the ingredients in this salad. Once again this came from the recent issue of Whole Living Magazine like my previous post: Subtle and Fresh. This salad looked amazing to me but I knew that there was a chance I wasn't going to like it. I've never been a big fan of using kale as a salad green, but it just sounded so interesting and healthy that I thought I'd give it a go. Plus I knew that I would use all of these ingredient individually if I didn't like them all together. (I've got a recipe from the same mag that is a fruit and veg smoothie that will also contain the beets- which will most likely be my next post). Below you'll find my review after the recipe itself. Here goes!

Ingredients list:
1 ripe avocado, halved, seed removed
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Walnut oil
Salt and pepper to taste for dressing
1/2 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 small red beet, peeled and thinly sliced ** Leah's note: I peeled this like an apple. My beet was hard as a rock so it was hard to slice it evenly. I decided to steam my beet to soften it up a bit- oh and beware- beets stain like the dickens!!! I now have a section of my cutting board that will forever be magenta!
1 sweet, crisp apple, cored and cut into thin wedges (I used organic Fuji)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts chopped.

Combine avocado, vinegar, mustard and oil in a food processor or blender. Pulse til smooth. (this will be thick) Season with salt and pepper. (*see photo below)
Stem the kale and chop or rip into coarse pieces. (note on stemming kale if unfamiliar. lay kale leaf bottom side up on cutting board. take a sharp knife and cut leaves along base where it meets the stem. for a visual of this see my Kale Chips recipe blog: I'm Dipping My Toes In )
In a large bowl (so you can toss the salad with the dressing) combine kale, beets, apple, and walnuts. Toss with the avocado dressing and season with salt and pepper if necessary. The below photo is the finished product without the dressing. After I tossed it everything was stained red from the beets and it wasn't very pretty! I did take a photo but my camera said it didn't recognize it when I tried to transfer.

Here's my review:
This salad was actually good and I would make it again! The mustard and vinegar help to balance the sweetness of the apple and beet. I found that eaten with every component on the fork it was delicious! I was unsure about how the apple and beet would be together but combined with the toasted walnuts they were really good! As I said in the title this salad is for the adventurous eater who likes to think outside of the salad box. I have some friends that are huge fans of kale as a salad green so this recipe is definitely for them. I'm not quite sure what I would replace the kale with exactly- perhaps peppery arugula?
All in all a good addition to my health food repertoire, my husband was all thumbs up as well!!

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