Back in Dallas from a wonderful weekend in St. Louis, the last week of May has us hopping and popping with “To Do’s” and “To Don’ts.”
Aside from a few “bumps” in the road, including a fun little trip to the ER (when my young Captain America discovered he was not invincible), our trip to St. Louis was delicious.
Regardless of location, according to my books, a holiday is not a holiday without a healthy dose of too many bodies in the kitchen working together (read: simultaneously) to create a shared meal. It is especially fun when the half of us are not familiar with the nooks and crannies of the kitchen.
“Where are the bowls?”
“No… not that type, but do you also have another cutting board and a knife?”
“Can I bother you for a glass of wine and a food processor?”
“Kosher salt? Do you have Himalayan Sea Salt?”
“How much garlic do you need? Minced? Chopped?”
Does anyone have parsley?”
Organized chaos and clean up committees seem to make the game all the more exciting and rewarding when the meal is finally plated and ready for tasting– which, by the way… I seem to do whilst preparing, always.
I graciously accepted the responsibility of preparing all things green. In order to stay on task, we kept the recipes relatively familiar and simple, but packed with colors and flavors. My husband was my culinary inspiration and assistant– or perhaps I was his. love.
Saturday eve we enjoyed a chopped romaine salad with artichokes, cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, kalamata olives, and a drizzling of evoo and lemon juice. My husband surprised me by wanting to create a raw linguini pesto dish- which was also quite good. love. The hosts prepared chicken to compliment the steamed broccoli and raw dishes– which made all the guests happy.
Sunday eve, after talking up the extraordinary flavor of properly prepared cruciferous greens, I put my hands to work literally, massaging a kale salad.
Mediterranean Massaged Kale Salad- Party Sized – (Aprx 8 “small” portions).
What you will need:
- 2 heads of organic kale (it looks grandiose but it wilts)
- juice of 1-2 large organic lemons
- 2+ tbsp of olive oil
- 2 tsp high quality sea salt
- 1-2 tbsp freshly minced garlic
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked and chopped
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- freshly ground pepper
Now for the Preparation:
- Rinse kale in warm water
- Remove curly leaves from steams, and place in a giant bowl
- Rip into smaller bite sized pieces and begin to massage away at the leaves (you are literally massaging out the “tension”).
- Keep massaging, feeling the crisp, curly edges begin to soften
- After about 1-2 minutes, sprinkle on 2 tsp of Himalayan Sea Salt– this will further soften the cruciferous fibers, and make your job, as masseuse, much easier
- Massage the salt into the leaves for another 2 minutes, then add the juice of one large lemon, followed by the second if needed.
It may seem tiresome, but power packed with protein (amino acids- the building blocks of life), Vitamins A, C, K, B6, and essential minerals for strong bones and beautiful skin-- magnesium, and calcium, I just cannot get enough of this green good stuff. You can read more about its credentials here.
Kale is also high in fiber. Fiber can be highly beneficial but unlike water containing fruits and veggies (think: zucchini), kale is not a great source of H2O and it can be challenging for many to digest. When massaged, the cruciferous fibers are broken down and it becomes easier for the body to breakdown during digestion. Massaging is an extraordinary way to keep food enzymes intact, and keep kale from becoming limp and soggy from cooking. Additionally, the oils we are adding are not being heated during a sauté, so you don’t have to worry about free radicals, and aging.
End result: “addictingly” delicious, and delightfully crunchy.
(while you are reading this, you still should be massaging)
Keep at it… you are almost there…
- Keep massaging, and then add 2 tbsp of olive oil
- Keep massaging, but it should be very easy now
- Now add in the fun stuff. Begin by quickly massaging in the fresh garlic. This will allow as many of the leaves as possible, to absorb the pungent flavor. Next, toss the remaining ingredients together and move into a serving bowl. Use the remaining liquid on the bottom to dress another salad.
- Add red chili pepper flakes for extra heat.
Nothing new and crazy, but always delicious.
What makes your holiday, a holiday? I know I am late to the game, but what meals did you share? Do you like Kale? How to you prepare it?
Can’t wait to share our Hearts of Palm Mint Salad. Great for summer gatherings.