Hye Thyme Cafe: Massaged Kale Salad

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Massaged Kale Salad

Massaged Kale Salad:  Hye Thyme Cafe

I know, it seems like I use an awful lot of Kale, but I don't usually end up using a whole bunch for just one thing, so of course I need to use up the rest. I'm not a fan of it in it's whole-raw form, but I have seen a lot of people writing about massaging the kale to soften and sweeten it, so it seemed worth a try. I have to admit, I ate this entire bowl of salad over the course of the day. Because the kale has a thicker texture than lettuce, it has a nice "meaty" weight to it. If you have some leftover chicken in the fridge, slice it up and add it to make a meal.  

I'm already anticipating other versions I might want to make. I went with the mandarin oranges and almonds this time, thinking of one of my favorite spinach salads. As much as I love spinach, I really do prefer the kale for the salad.

1 bunch kale
1 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
1/3 c sliced almonds
1/2 small sweet onion
black pepper
11 oz can mandarin oranges
1 t white balsamic vinegar
1/4 t Dijon mustard
1/2 t thyme leaves

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon of the mandarin orange juice (drain the rest) with the white balsamic, Dijon, and thyme leaves, and set aside. This will give the thyme a chance to infuse into the dressing. You are already massaging the kale with olive oil, so there is no need to use additional oil for the dressing. You want to just flavor the salad, not soak it. The Dijon adds a hint of flavor and holds things together. You can use fresh or dried thyme. If using dried, rub it between your fingertips as you add it, to get the oils going.

Whisk together white balsamic, dijon, mandarin juice and thyme
Looks like a VERY small amount, but it coats nicely
without watering your salad down

Wash and dry your kale well, removing any large stalks/stems and tearing into bite-sized pieces. Pour the olive oil over the kale and sprinkle with salt. Now really get in there with your hands and massage the oil into the kale, coating all those nooks and crannies. Take a few minutes with this. Set aside.

Wash and tear kale into bite-sided pieces, removing large stems/stalks
Massage kale with olive oil and salt until softened and well coated

Notice how much lower in the bowl the kale 
sits after it has been massaged.

In a small pan over medium heat, lightly toast the almond slices, stirring frequently and removing from pan immediately so they don't continue to brown/burn.

Lightly toast almonds over med heat, immediately removing from pan

Cut about half of your onion into super thin slices. When your almonds have cooled, toss the onions and most of your mandarin orange segments and almond slices with the kale. Drizzle the dressing over the top, add several grounds of fresh black pepper, and toss with tongs or salad utensils to coat well.

Toss with mix-ins, black pepper, and dressin

Plate and top with any remaining almonds and/or orange segments.

Plate - topping with any reserved almonds or orange segments

Massaged Kale Salad:  Hye Thyme Cafe
Massaged Kale Salad:  Hye Thyme Cafe

Massaged Kale Salad:  Hye Thyme Cafe

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