Best Kale Salad

Not everyone likes kale but guaranteed some will be converts after tasting this salad. (There is a secret step in this recipe.) We like dinosaur kale, ‘Lacinato’, but we grow other kale varieties and often add them to the salad for colour and texture. Be brave; give this salad a try.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Marinate Time: minimum 10 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients:
6 – 8 (8 oz / 225 g) kale leaves
generous pinch of sea salt
4 – 5 (4 oz / 115 g) radishes, washed and thinly sliced
1 medium (6 oz / 170 g) apple, seeded and diced
½ c (125 ml) dried cranberries
½ c (125 ml) pecans, pine nuts, or almonds, chopped
¼ c (63 ml) sesame seeds, toasted
½ c (2 oz / 55 g) feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing:
3 tbsp (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tbsp (22 ml) white balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tbsp (22 ml) honey
1 tbsp (15 ml) smooth Dijon mustard
dash of sea salt to taste
dash of coarse black pepper to taste

Procedure:

To toast seeds, spread them on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 °F (180 °C) oven for 5 to 10 minutes or toast them in a skillet on the stove over medium heat. Whatever the method, stir the seeds frequently and watch they do not burn. Remove from oven or burner once the seeds start to turn brown. Immediately pour seeds into a small dish, as they will continue to cook on the cookie sheet and in the skillet.

Cut out the tough stems from the kale leaves and discard. Cut the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces. Wash kale in cold water. Place washed kale pieces into a salad spinner and spin dry. (Best done in batches.)

Secret step: Empty each batch of washed and spun-dried kale onto a towel and roll towel to dry kale further. Empty into a large bowl. Sprinkle a very small pinch of sea salt over the dried kale and massage the leaves with your hands by lightly scrunching them. The leaves will go darker in colour and release a delightful fragrance.

Repeat sea salt and massaging for each dried batch of kale leaves.

Sprinkle radish slices, diced apple, and dried cranberries over kale leaves.

Sprinkle chopped nuts and toasted sesame seeds overtop.

Crumble feta cheese on top.

To make dressing:

Measure all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk vigorously to combine well. Pour over salad and toss to evenly distribute dressing through the kale leaves.

Allow the salad to marinate for a minimum of 10 minutes before serving. Better yet, make this salad in the morning, cover, and put in the refrigerator to marinate until dinner.

Eggplant Steaks

by Leslie Cox; Saturday; September 16, 2017

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes at 375 °F (180 °C)

Eggplant steaks1 large eggplant
sugar
garlic salt
basil, dried
oregano, dried
2-3 large tomatoes
3-5 green onions
1 cup (250 ml) feta cheese
extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 °F.

2. Using a basting brush, brush bottom of 9 x 13 inch (22.5 x 33 cm) baking dish with extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.

3. Slice eggplant lengthwise into ½ inch (1.25 cm) slices. Lay slices in baking dish. Do not overlap.

4. Sprinkle eggplant slices lightly with each of the following in succession: sugar, garlic salt, basil and oregano. (Option: Hold the basil and oregano and add on top of the tomatoes.)

5. Cut tomatoes into fairly thick slices and lay on top of eggplant slices.

6. Chop green onions and sprinkle over top of tomato slices.

7. Crumble feta generously over top of each eggplant slice. Try not to allow too much of the feta to fall off the slices.

8. Dribble a little olive oil over each slice.

9. Bake in 375 °F oven for 35 minutes. Remove from oven. Serve immediately.

 

Violet Sugar

This is a delightful recipe for something sweet…and a little out of the ordinary. If you love sweet violets, you must try this recipe.

Basket of sweet violet flowersIngredients:

24 – 30 freshly picked sweet violet flowers
1/2 – 2/3 c (125 – 165 ml) berry sugar

Note: Pick only organic sweet violet flowers. Do not pick where pesticides or herbicides have been sprayed.

Procedure:

  1. Layer one third of the sugar in bottom of a half-pint (205 ml) sterilized canning jar, or other suitable sterile container with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Sprinkle 8 – 10 flowers over the sugar. Note: Be sure the flowers are not damp from early morning dew.
  3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until layers fill your jar or container.
  4. Put lid in place and screw tightly.
  5. Invert jar and shake vigorously to distribute violet flowers throughout the sugar.
  6. Place in cupboard or dark pantry for 1 – 2 weeks, depending on how strong a flavour you want.
  7. Sieve sugar before using.

Violet SugarUses:

  1. Flavour cakes and cupcakes.
  2. Sprinkle over fresh fruit cups.
  3. Great gift for family and friends.
  4. Let your imagination dictate other uses.

 

 

 

Posted on April 18, 2017

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