Being a herbivore, I eat a lot of vegetables. I roast, grill, and bake ’em. I steam, boil and puree ’em. I eat ’em raw and I eat ’em cooked. But probably my favourite, and most common, way to eat ’em is in a salad. I eat a salad or two every day. These days I’m getting my salad on by using seasonal vegetables as much as possible. Right now that means lots of slaws with cabbage and root vegetables. And kale salads. That’s what I’m giving you today … a kale salad recipe.
There are two vital things to do with kale to transform it into a salad green – tear or chop into small pieces and massage! I used to only eat kale salad at restaurants because I couldn’t be bothered to massage the stuff! But then I had a couple of experiences where I was served a salad with honkin’ big pieces of chewy, unmassaged kale, and I decided I’d better take things into my owns hands afterall! And I literally mean my own hands, because there ain’t no other way to massage kale than with your hands!
So here you go … get your salad on!
Kale Beet Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa, cooked
4 roasted beets, diced
1 head of kale (I used Dinosaur Kale), torn into small pieces
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup
Once the quinoa is cooked and cooled, set aside. Put the chopped beets in a large bowl and set aside. Put the torn kale into another bowl. Drizzle a tbsp of olive oil onto the kale and sprinkle on about 1/4 tsp of salt. Massage the oil and salt into the kale until the kale begins to soften up and release some juices. Pour the remaining tbsp of olive oil over the kale along with the red wine vinegar, the mustard, the maple syrup and 1/4 tsp of salt. Toss the massaged kale with the dressing ingredients. Add the kale to the beets and toss together. Add the quinoa and gently combine. The quinoa will turn purpley-pink in this salad … not necessarily a bad thing … I just wanted to warn you! Taste a spoonful of kale/beet/quinoa and adjust the dressing as needed. Needs more tartness? – add some more vinegar and/or mustard. Needs to be a little sweeter? – add some more maple syrup and/or some mustard.
If you prefer, you can whisk all the dressing ingredients together and massage it all right into the kale. Or you can massage the kale with oil and salt as above, then whisk the remaining dressing ingredients. Add the kale to the beets, pour in the dressing, toss gently, add the quinoa.