Photo Credit - Health.com
At some point, this tough, green lawn ornamentation became America's "it" food. With me being naturally averse to things that look like landscaping of the plant kind or a lack of pre-bathing suit landscaping of the human kind, this curly cruciferous bundle of old lace and chlorophyll has never found it's way on to my plate. Until very recently, that is.
I have to be honest, I have purposely avoided Kale at all costs because it's a bandwagon food. Any food that gets too much hype or that my sister-in-law attributes the high quality of her "movements" to is an immediate NO for me. I have managed to live a great many years without this "super food" and quite happily, I might add. Then we went on vacation and I got sideswiped by my husband's order of a kale salad at dinner one night.
Me: Kale salad? What the *#ck?
Him: I wanna try it.
Me: It's the substance that Ariel says makes her crap like a show pony.
Me: You can finish this vacation alone. Waiter! Another vodka and soda please.
Him: I want to see what it's all about.
Me: OK, but you have to sleep in the car tonight.
When our entree salads arrived, I looked down at my bowl of chopped Cobb Salad and realized, I am eating a similar bowl of rabbit food (this was after the chili cheese tater tots as an appetizer, of course). What's the real difference, other than the fact that his is much greener and looks much more like it was shaved from someone's nether regions? Let's put mind over matter and try it.
I tentatively stuck a fork into his salad and retrieved a dark green tumble of vegetation. It looked angry, frizzy and menacing. My expectation was that it would be as bitter as my 8th grade math teacher and about as enjoyable. Mr Toscano be damned! It was actually somewhat more tolerable than hearing him prattle on about right angles. My assessment on the spot was that it was not as bitter as I expected and it was nicely dressed (that helped) but chewing through it was somewhere south of a burlap bag in terms of tenderness. It needed a lot of jaw work, but not totally terrible.
My husband, a friend to all vegetables except celery, loved it of course and proclaimed that he will be eating more kale salads going forward. "Oh goody" I thought, this gives me more quiet time and less access to the bathroom. If he is going to eat this, I need to find a way to make it more palatable, so that I can hold my short-order, "everyone eats something different" cooking to a minimum.
So here's what I did to make the topiary tolerable:
Red Cabbage and Kale Slaw w/Sweet Red Onion Vinaigrette
1/2 medium head of red cabbage, shredded, washed and spun dry
1 medium Bunch of kale, stemmed and shredded, washed and spun dry
1/4 of a small red onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 of a small red onion roughly chopped
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Pulse ingredients for dressing in a mini chop or food processor until emulsified.
Pour all vinaigrette over veggies and let sit in fridge for 1 hour to overnight. Toss and redistribute dressing before serving.
In closing, I fear that there is little to be concerned with in terms of theft of this recipe, because...kale. However, it and all other poorly constructed and unpolished writing on this site are, of course, copyrighted.
At the end of the day, kale still has a taste and texture akin to zoysia grass but the dressing is quite tasty and you'll probably crap like a show pony. For some (like the guy that gave me a ring all those years ago and my sister-in-law), that's really all that matters.
Pictures of the festively shredded confetti of plant matter below.
Just so that you don't think I've gone all nuts and granola on ya, I served the kale salad with twice baked, french onion soup stuffed baked potatoes and a big, hairy steak.