[Editor's Note: You'll be hearing from a lot of different voices on our blog this summer. This post is written by Anne Hillson, who is on our staff for a second year raising your produce.]
I must admit something to you, our farm community: after our first few weeks of shares, I had a Vegetable Crisis. Yes, even farmers can flinch in the face of such awesome kale poundage. In the fall, I enjoy sauteed kale with butter and white wine but right now, as summer sidles in for its extended visit, I wanted something delicious, refreshing, and away from the stove, but I found myself momentarily stumped.
So this week I'm conquering my fear of raw kale by experimenting with marinated kale slaws. Taking inspiration from a kale recipe on epicurious.com, I've come up with a general recipe break-down that leaves the door (and salad bowl) open for variation. You'll also find a recipe for my current favorite, Marinated Kale Slaw with Kalamata Olives and Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette, plus a few ideas for your own kitchen escapades.See you at the farm!-Anne
Recipe Break Down for a Marinated Kale Slaw
Toss together de-ribbed and thinly sliced kale + vinaigrette + optional ingredients (cheese, fruit, nuts, olives, etc.)
- The key to this slaw is slicing the kale thinly, no more than a ¼ inch wide and thinner if possible. This is easiest if you stack the de-ribbed leaves and roll them up to make a long kale “cigar” before slicing through the whole stack. The vegetable should look like green spaghetti.
- Let sit for at least an hour so the kale softens up a bit and the flavors can mix.
- If you are adding a softer cheese like goat cheese, you may want to mix it in just before serving so it doesn't fall apart too much.
Ideas to make it your own:
• Black olives and feta with honey-lemon vinaigrette (see recipes below)
• Cranberries and almonds with goat cheese and balsamic-sage vinaigrette
• Parmesan and toasted walnuts with raspberry vinaigrette
Check out my recipes below (you'll forgive me I hope – I am a culinary finger-painter, not an architect, so all quantities are “to taste.”)
What do you plan to do with your kale? Share your ideas in the comments!
Marinated Kale Slaw with Kalamata Olives and Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette
• Onion with greens, finely diced (optional)
• Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe below)
• Feta cheese or goat's milk gouda
• Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
• Whisk together Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette in the bottom of a large bowl.
• Remove ribs and thinly slice kale into strips no more than ¼ inch wide.
• Add kale, onion, olives, and crumbled or grated cheese to bowl.
• Toss with dressing and taste to adjust seasoning.
- Juice of one lemon (use a fresh lemon, not bottled)
- ½ clove garlic
- Fresh herbs (I prefer thyme or sage)
- A spoonful or two of honey, or to taste
- Olive oil (use the best quality that you have)
- Salt and pepper
- Finely mince garlic and herbs (for dressings, I like to mash the minced garlic and herbs together into a paste with the flat of my knife to release the flavors and help it mix better)
- Whisk together garlic, herbs, lemon juice, and honey with some salt and pepper.
- Taste and adjust seasonings (this usually means adding more honey, salt, and/or pepper