October 20, 2012

Kale Salad with Quinoa, Citrus, and Sundried Tomatoes


As my obsession with enjoying kale salads seems to only be growing, I am always trying to come up with new ways to enjoy one. We were expecting a guest for lunch last Sunday and I was feeling too lazy to go to the grocery store. While trying to make do with what we had in the house, I came up with this winner based on a salad that I like order at Porta Via restaurant in Beverly Hills, California. The hearty marriage of flavors is my new favorite.

Needless to say, this salad is loaded with nutrient rich goodness. Dark kale, quinoa, and oranges make it an a protein packed and antioxidant rich meal, starter, or side dish that is sure to please all of you kale lovers and make some new ones too.

Kale Salad with Quinoa, Citrus, and Sundried Tomatoes
Serves 4
For all ingredients, please use those that are organic or grown without pesticides.
1 bunch lacinato kale (cavalo nero or black kale), center veins removed
  If you are not a kale lover, try using spinach.
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cooked quinoa (a perfect use of leftovers)
1 red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1-2 oranges or ruby grapefruits, depending on size
3 tablespoons oil packed sun dried tomatoes, thinly sliced or coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds
2-4 tablespoons Mustard Vinaigrette
  sea salt
  freshly ground black pepper
If you do not have quinoa leftover in the refrigerator, prepare the quinoa. Put 1 cup of quinoa rinsed repeatedly and 2 cups of purified slated water in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the water has absorbed into the grains, about 20-25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Heat the oven or toaster oven to 425 F. Peel and chop the onion, put it onto a small baking tray or dish, toss with about a teaspoon of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Roast the onion for about 25 minutes until it begins to brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
Remove the fibrous center veins from the washed kale leaves by pulling them out with your hands or using a knife. Stack the the leaves on top of one another and roll them lengthwise like a cigar. Use a large knife to slice across the rolls into slices about 1/4 inch in width. You will be left with a consistent sort of chop of ribbons. Put into a large bowl.
Drizzle with about a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and use your hands to massage it into the kale. This will help break down the fibers in the kale making it tastier and easier to digest.
Zest the rind from the orange and add it to the kale. Use a knife to peel the orange. While holding the orange over the salad, supreme the sections from the membrane, cut or break them into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces and add to the kale. For further information on how to supreme citrus see my recipe for Orange and Cumin Scented Beet Salad.
Add the cooled quinoa and onions to the kale and citrus along with the prepared sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts. Toss with about 2 tablespoons of the Mustard Vinaigrette and taste. Add more dressing, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to your desired taste.
Serve at room temperature. This salad is best served the day that it is made, but since kale is so hearty it will hold up surprisingly well refrigerated for a day or so.








Categories: Fall & Winter, Gluten Free, Grains, Salads

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