Move over arugula, it seems Kale has become the new ‘it girl’ of leafy greens. And not just on the Upper East Side. (Gossip Girl reference, couldn’t resist! Is anyone else a fan? Can Chuck and Blair please get back together?!! Ok I’m digress, apologies). Anyway, I’m finding kale all over the place; bagged (sometimes boxed), pre-washed and sold as salad greens to crisped, salted and sold as chips. Will kale hold the spotlight for more than just 15 minutes? If this recipe’s any indication than I think so.
I love these a-ha type recipes that make me think about a food in a whole new way, which is exactly what I found here. Yes I’ve seen the bagged kale chips but never really thought much about making a version myself. Something about the words ‘kale’ and ‘chips’ strung together didn’t exactly wet my appetite. But when I read 101 Cookbooks blog and cookbook auther Heidi Swanson’s recipe for this Kale Salad, I was enticed. A food combination I’d never have conceived of. Here she spreads kale evenly on a baking sheet and bakes it at a high temperature to crisp it up. Tossed in an Asian dressing with toasty coconut flakes is a totally unique way of preparing this uber-healthy leafy green and I just loved it.
crispy kale salad with farro
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbs shoyu (or tamari)
- 3 1/2 cups lightly packed cups chopped kale, stems trimmed, large ribs removed
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened large coconut flakes
- 2 cups cooked farro
1. Preheat oven to 350 with two racks in the top third of oven.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, sesame oil and shoyu. Put kale and coconut in a large bowl and toss well with about 2/3 of the olive-oil mixture.
3. Spread kale evenly across the two baking sheets. Bake for 12-18 minutes, until the coconut is deeply golden brown, tossing once or twice along the way. If the kale mixture on the top baking sheet begins to get too browned, move it to the lower rack.
4. Remove from oven and transfer kale mixture to a medium bowl. Taste. If you feel it needs more dressing, add some and toss. Serve warm.
Recipe from Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson
One of the best things about cooking is the bond it creates between people. People who love food love to talk about food and it makes for an instant connection. I was humbled this week by the remarks from a potential employer (I was interviewing for the job), who said to me in so many words ‘I really like that you cook. It tells me you’re nurturing, dedicated, and creative.’ A passionate cook himself, the next few minutes passed quickly swapping recommendations for food writers, cookbooks and the like. Hopefully he found some of my other talents equally impressive.
In any case, I found it quite gratifying to realize this mutual respect that cooks share. We are nurturing. We cook not only because we love food but because we love those who we share it with. We take great pride in our culinary confections. We are fearless in experimenting with strange ingredients and new techniques, stubborn and relentless until they’re perfected. We are sponges for food knowledge, never complacent, feasting on the sheer joy that cooking brings us. In short, we are pretty cool.
continue reading ‘Green Couscous’
I debated between ‘Fall Farro’ and the more descriptive title above for this dish, because in our house ‘Fall Farro’ is absolutely what this is – a delicious side dish featuring many of my fall favorites. With roasted butternut squash, caramelized red onions, toasty walnuts and tangy goat cheese, this graces our table alongside simply seared fish and meat throughout the season. I decided against it (the ‘Fall Farro’ thing) because this dish absolutely has legs for winter and even beyond winter if you’re one of those I-don’t-give-an-expletive-what-season-it-is-I’ll-cook-what-I-like-thanks-very-much types.
I will say upon enjoying the butternut squash + goat cheese combo for the first time this season I immediately forgave summer for leaving the party so early this year. Against the backdrop of the nutty farro, the roasted vegetables and melty goat cheese are just phenomenal. And it made me that much more excited about all the fantastic roasting, braising and stewing that comes with cooler temperatures.
continue reading ‘Butternut Squash Farro with Walnuts and Goat Cheese’
It’s funny, but chicken breast for me has become a seasonal food. It’s not until the weather warms up that I find myself craving some simply grilled, flavorful, juicy chicken, atop a fresh summer salad. And this preparation of herb-marinated grilled chicken is one of my absolute favorites. It makes a fantastic accompaniment to endless salads, pastas, grilled vegetables and sides. On it’s own, it’s great topped with a fruit salsa or pesto. Here I pair it with a farro salad that includes green beans, fresh corn and goat cheese.
continue reading ‘Herb-Marinated Grilled Chicken with Farro Salad’
Here’s simple spring side dish I know you’ll love. I combine bulgar wheat and lentils with cherry tomatoes, scallions, fresh lemon juice and tangy feta cheese. It’s light, bright, and pairs perfectly with simple panko-crusted fish or grilled chicken. It’s also wonderful over baby spinach for lunch.
continue reading ‘Lentil Bulgar Salad’
I make sear-roasted salmon a lot and for good reason. It’s delicious and simple to prepare, using no ingredients other than the fish itself, salt, pepper and olive oil. Searing the top gives you a beautiful golden crust that makes for a gorgeous presentation and add loads of flavor. And it’s nearly fool-proof not to overcook.
continue reading ‘Sear Roasted Salmon with Roasted Beet and Bulgar Salad’