Sunday, March 27, 2011

Once a garnish always a garnish?

All hail kale. It seems like this garnish on fruit and vegetable platters or scattered about a table in a buffet line is showing up everywhere other than where it came from! I'll be honest - I don't really love eating kale but I consume it for it's nutritional benefits. If kale is in a fresh pressed juice, I thoroughly enjoy the outcome. I have had a kale salad, chopped, drizzled in a lemony vinaigrette with thinly sliced parmesan slices gently resting on the mound of greens. Operative word: Parmesan. It made the salad! I recently made a lentil and vegetable soup with kale. I have to admit, I ate around the kale leaves. So what was the point? I won't lie, I try to embrace the "au currant" food of the moment at times, regardless if I am being true to myself of whether I like it - like it, or just tolerate it because it's "good for you" type thing. I do A LOT of the latter. I remember reading last year that grains were the big deal food. Grains like farro showed up everywhere in restaurant cuisine in place of rice or potatoes or polenta. I like grains but I get discouraged when I can't find the small-yield, organic, special grains that some of my recipes require. But I digress. Back to my kale quarry - I think it's the texture. I can't get past the mouth-feel and the fact that it's a garnish in my eyes. Needless to say ~ I will try it again, perhaps tonight...with my grilled filet mignon. 

My simple kale salad....

Bunch of kale, washed, ribs removed, then chopped 
lemon juice from 1/2 - 1 lemon
toasted pine nuts or toasted walnuts, chopped
olive oil
sea salt
parmesan shavings 

Chop kale and nuts and toss with lemon juice and olive oil to coat leaves. Add a good sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Since these greens have a unique, peppery flavor, I think the best quality olive oil one can find to make the dressing and a great sea salt are imperative to really savoring and enjoying this type of salad. Garnish with fresh shaved parm regg - and voila!