Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with a Kick

by Pamela

kale salad, tuscan kale, raw kale, raw tuscan kale, kale

Stop crinkling up your nose (yes, I can see you doing that).  I did use those 3 words in the same sentence.  Now say it with me: Raw Tuscan Kale.  And yes, I made them into a salad – a kale salad.  I get it though….the whole concept of eating kale grosses some people out, let alone eating it raw.  What about the bitterness?  What about how thick the leaves are?  What about….?  And what about….?  Enough with the questions – how about some answers?

Let’s take a look at the health factors found in kale.  It contains calcium, copper, potassium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.  As far as vitamins are concerned, it’s got vitamins A, C and a ton of vitamin K (these are the antioxidant vitamins).  The fiber content of kale also helps reduce cholesterol levels which can help to reduce the risk of heart disease.  (This benefit is increased if the kale is lightly steamed before eating.)

Tuscan-Kale, "My Man's Belly"

So raw kale is good for you, but what about the bitterness and those thick leaves?  I’m not a cow…I don’t want to have to chew this kale for 10 minutes just to swallow one forkful.  That’s where the different types of kale come into play.  For this salad I used Tuscan kale, which is also called Cavolo nero; Dinosaur kale; black cabbage or Lacinto kale.  The leaves of Tuscan kale are still thicker than lettuce, but it’s not quite as bitter as the curly leaf kale.  For a kale salad (that is using the kale raw) use this type of kale.  The others tend to be a bit too bitter to eat in their raw state.  But don’t shy away from them.  They all taste great cooked, and cooking causes the bitterness to subside a bit.  And…It’s available year round and not just because it gets imported from some faraway land that’s experiencing summer while we’re in the midst of the next Arctic freeze.  (Okay you, not me, I live in LA – if we get snow there’s a MAJOR problem.)

To enhance the flavors of the ingredients in this salad, I made a warm shallot vinaigrette.  I used apple cider to give it a nice acidic kick.  The other thing that a warm dressing does for this salad is help the kale soften up a bit.  In fact, after dressing the salad, toss to combine everything and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.  Unlike its lettuce salad counterparts, the kale salad doesn’t get all soggy and gross.  In fact, I had leftovers of this salad for lunch the next day and it was perfect – not soggy in the slightest.

Relationship Advice

There are single ladies out there who are happy about it and there are single ladies out there who are bitter about it.  Why so bitter?

Happy single ladies are totally content with the fact that they are not in a romantic relationship with anyone.  They’ve got plenty of friends, hobbies and activities to keep them occupied and fulfilled.  They’re open to the idea of being in a good solid romantic relationship but aren’t on the hunt for one.  Que sera sera.

On the other hand there’s the single lady that’s bitter about her situation and is more than happy to word vomit all over you with their shitty attitude.  Oh sure, they’ll tell you that they can’t be tied down, can fart whenever and where ever they want, never have to worry about the toilet seat being left up and don’t have to share the remote control.  But isn’t it funny pathetic how, in their next breath, they’re whining about how great they are and how much it sucks that they can’t find anyone to go out with them.

If Bitter Betty would get up off of her ass and go out and mingle, maybe she’d find somebody.  Sure, there’s internet dating (ugh) but that just allows her to sit on the couch watching someone else’s reality (which, no doubt makes her feel better about herself) and stuff her face.  Not exactly creating a very exciting reality for her.  But staying inside is a much easier option.  And adopting an air of self-righteousness disguises nothing to the rest of the world, although she’s doing a fabulous job fooling herself.

You can make up any excuse for your singledom, but odds are every woman that is in a good relationship could say the same thing about herself too.  So, nice try…but no one is buying that either.  If you’re tired of being single, then do something about it!  I know this sounds trite, but get involved in your community, go to the gym, stop having everything delivered to you and actually go to a store.  When you’re at the store smile, occasionally make eye contact with a guy.  Odds are, if you look approachable one of them will actually approach you and maybe ask you out.

Bottom line – quit your bitching, the rest of us don’t want to hear it.

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Recipe: Raw Tuscan Kale Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 Bunch Tuscan Kale (approximately 20 stems)
  • 3 Small Golden Beets
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 Handful Walnuts (roughly chopped)
  • 1 Shallot (peeled and finely sliced into rings)
  • 1/4 – 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil* + 1 Tablespoon
  • 2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Wash beets and remove tops.
  3. Place the beets on a piece of foil and drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Close foil around the beets and roast for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. Wash and dry the kale.
  6. Remove the hard rib from the center of each kale leaf.
  7. Stack leaves on top of each other and roll into a cigar shape. Finely chop the kale into thin strips by cutting across the roll. Toss all of the chopped kale into a large bowl.
  8. Slip the skins off the beats and cut them to 1/2″ dice.
  9. Add the diced beets and chopped walnuts to the kale.
  10. Add the oil to a small sauté pan over medium heat.
  11. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and shallots. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook until the garlic is browning and the shallots have completely wilted and remove from heat.
  12. Stir in the cider vinegar.
  13. Spoon the dressing over the top of the salad. Toss and let stand for 10 minutes.
  14. Serve.

Quick notes

*I used 1/4 cup of olive oil when I made this which makes a very lightly dressed salad. You could use 1/3 cup if you want more dressing.

Variations

You could also add pieces of bacon to this kale salad which would take it up another level.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Diet tags: Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

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24 comments

Roger Perrault February 25, 2014 at 4:25 am

Pamela,

I got it right away, he must have said “haven’t we met somewhere before?” or a variant of that?

Cheers!

Roger

Pamela February 25, 2014 at 8:13 am

Roger, I wish the line he used had been that smooth. ;)

Roger Perrault February 24, 2014 at 11:00 am

I am always on the lookout for Kale ideas so I am definitely going to try this one.

I am not sure what relationship advice has to do with Kale but I have one comment. Don’t knock the Internet for meeting people. My nephew tried stand up comedy, blind dates and the bar scene. Then he tried the Internet and met a girl on his first try. They married and now have two kids. For his wife, he was date number five. The four before him were what you would call “not a keeper”.

Pamela February 24, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Hi Roger,

Kale and relationship advice…a perfect match! LOL I do the relationship advice just as part of the whole food/family/relationship tie in. I hear ya on the internet. I have several friends that have met their spouse through the wild wild web. ;) I met my husband the old fashioned way. He was a ridiculously drunk customer at the bar where I was cocktailing (insert your own joke here). :)

The Duo Dishes January 26, 2011 at 9:22 am

Did you find that kale at a farmers’ market? Not sure what’s usually sold at grocery stores, but finding this would be great when it comes to raw.

Pamela January 26, 2011 at 9:29 am

I did get mine from the Farmer’s Market (Torrance and Hollywood both had lots of it). But I am also able to get the Tuscan kale from a couple of my local grocery stores (Vons & Sprouts). Heading to HFM on Sunday…want to meet up?

Andrea (Andreas Kitchen) January 25, 2011 at 11:19 pm

This salad sounds great! I don’t mind raw kale- even the regular kind, so I’m sure I will like this salad! Nice job!

Anna Johnston January 25, 2011 at 8:49 pm

This sounds so different I’m going to have to try it to see, kinda like the bitter tang, it’d be an interesting flavour. Lovin’ your relationship advice girlfriend…, shootin’ straight from the hip today :)

Betty @ scrambled hen fruit January 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm

I love kale but usually eat it cooked in some fashion. My brother grows this type of kale and also golden beets. I’m going to try this when I can get the ingredients!

Kim January 25, 2011 at 7:06 pm

This falls under the category of “detox food” for me. Which, I will happily eat if it helps me rediscover my girlish figure, too. :)

Oh, and the relationship advice? Don’t get me started… I already have a rather large hit-list of girls I can forward that advice to!

[K]

P.S. Great to see you over the weekend. Thx for opening your home to the rest of us!

Nancy@acommunaltable January 25, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Hah!! Another opportunity to deepen my relationship with kale!! With golden beets, walnuts and shallots what is not to love???

Great observations about negative single women… know of few of them and may just email them a link to this post!!

Ethan January 25, 2011 at 7:02 pm

If girls would make eye contact from time to time, the world would be a better place and I wouldn’t have to have that internal struggle of whether I should approach her or not!

rebecca subbiah January 25, 2011 at 6:56 pm

wonderful salad and love how you tied in the bitter theme

Priscilla - She's Cookin' January 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Great color, flavors and texture in this salad and, yes, Dinosaur kale is the only way to go for a raw kale salad – I love the name and its bumpy texture :)

Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious January 25, 2011 at 8:01 am

Wow is that one good-looking salad! You could rainbow it up even more by using 1 golden and 1 red beet. I agree with you that cutting in a chiffonade is key, as it letting the dressing get to work on it for a few mintues. Well done!

Oriana - the tuscan foodie January 25, 2011 at 7:24 am

I like this idea I was just wondering what the yellow pieces in the first picture are?
Thanks

Pamela January 25, 2011 at 10:08 am

They are roasted golden beets.

Oriana - the tuscan foodie January 26, 2011 at 4:41 am

ohhhh we don’t have those in italy :(

Pamela January 26, 2011 at 9:29 am

This salad would also taste great with dried cranberries and pine nuts.

Carrie Andrews January 25, 2011 at 5:56 am

This sounds great. I am always looking for ways to get more kale into my diet for its nutritional value, and can’t wait to try this salad. Nice pics too!

SMITH BITES January 25, 2011 at 5:48 am

love, love, love! personally, i think kale is underrated and regular plain old lettuce is well . . . boring . . . and i for one, do NOT want to be boring. a splash of vinegar, crunch of the walnuts and the earthiness of beets works perfectly!

saltyseattle January 25, 2011 at 12:52 am

going all LA raw on me, i see… also funny to talk about bitter single ladies in a kale-based post- not that i think kale is bitter- it is, in fact, awesome with bacon. and wine. and i will give this raw salad a good college try since i need to rediscover my girlish figure before summer…

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