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Author Notes: All winter my favorite dish was "greens and beans." That general description allows for lots of variation, and we tried 'em all. For spring (and a hot day that felt like summer), I wanted a new, fresh salad that was substantial enough to stand up to grilled meat while still tasting light and bright. Kale, of course, is the miracle food of the moment (during a recent visit, a friend told me "every restaurant in Brooklyn has a kale salad"), and quinoa probably is too. Anyway, both offer earthy flavor with lots of protein and nutrients. —Brenda Adelson
Makes approx 4 cups
- 2 handfuls baby Kale (or 1/2 of 7 oz package)
- 1 cup dry Quinoa, cooked (approx 2 cups cooked)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 Cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped (approx 1/2 cup)
- juice and zest of one Lemon (wash and rinse lemon well), approx 4 tablespoons of juice and 1 teaspoons of zest
- 1/2 cup dried currants
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
- sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- After cooking, allow quinoa to cool in cooking pot, with lid on, for 20-30 minutes and then fluff with a fork.
- Stack kale leaves together and roll up like a cigar, then slice thinly with a sharp knife ("chiffonade").
- Peel cucumber and remove seeds. Dice into 1/8 inch cubes.
- Combine kale, quinoa, and cucumber in a large non-reactive mixing bowl. Add currants and mix well.
- Add olive oil, zest the lemon over the bowl (to capture the essential oils), and add lemon juice. Add a large pinch of salt and grind pepper into the bowl.
- Mix well to combine all ingredients. The slightly warm quinoa will absorb the seasonings, and the warmth and lemon juice will slightly "cook" the kale. To serve a larger crowd, simply double or triple the recipe.
- PLEASE NOTE: When making this, I didn't measure. These measurements are approximations; however, you can add more or less of anything to suit your taste.
- Just before serving, sprinkle pistachios on top. Bon appetit!