My fiance and I were first introduced to Kale through a dish cooked in a spoonful of bacon fat, a splash of vinegar, and a dash of red pepper flakes. It was love at first bite, however, a spoonful of bacon fat does not bode well for my New Year's resolutions. Looking for a healthier alternative, we switched to raw kale salads, but never really enjoyed the bitterness. Massaging the kale with a sweetened vinegarette strips this fantastic side salad of its bitterness and the toasted pine nuts mingle well with the parmesan and blood orange pieces. —slidedtd
handfuls of raw kale (curly)
drizzles of agave nectar
pine nuts (lightly toasted in a skillet over medium heat until golden)
grated parmesan cheese
blood orange (peeled and chopped into 1/2 in chunks)
Separate the leaves of your kale from the stems and toss the stems into the trash. I find it's way easier to separate if you buy the bunches at the market or grocery, rather than the already chopped bags of kale. I usually stop at about 3 handfuls for the two of us (if you are making more, scale the dressing up accordingly).
In a small glass bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, and drizzle in a bit of the agave. Whisk until incoporated into a dressing. The dressing scales well ( for every table spoon of olive oil, I use 2-3 teaspoons of sherry vinegar. Adjust ingredients to taste by adding more agave or sherry vinegar and a dash of salt.
Pour the dressing over the kale, massaging for about 5 minutes (until the leaves are silky and smooth and no longer crunchy). At this point I usually refrigerate it for a half hour before we are ready to eat.
Immediately before serving, I toast the pine nuts on medium heat until golden and add to the top of the salad. I grate fresh parmesan over the top of the salad as well. I finish off by adding a handful (or two) of chopped blood orange (regular orange works too!).
This salad is not only delicious, but looks beautiful and vibrant assembled in a glass bowl. Enjoy!