Kale is the new beet salad, it seems, at restaurants around the Bay Area. I’ve seen a kale salad on several menus lately, and that’s a good thing.
In the past, kale had a bad rep because – like tofu – it was introduced by healthy hippies who didn’t really prepare it in the best fashion. In fact, my first taste of kale was when someone gave me a taste in supplement form. But why extract just the healthy benefits of kale when eating it fresh gives you just the same feeling, with all the added flavors?
This salad was inspired by a similar kale salad served up at Oakland’s Tribune Tavern. The hearty kale is paired with roasted vegetables (in my case, cauliflower). Tossed with a simple lemon vinaigrette, you get a clean and bright-tasting healthy dish. Enjoy!
Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Salad with Hazelnuts
Makes 2 to 3 servings
1 bunch kale (any type, about 4 cups), cut into thin strips across the stem*
1 small head of cauliflower (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Salt for seasoning
1 T Dijon mustard
2 t sugar
juice from one lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup quality extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Cut cauliflower into florets, and then toss in neutral tasting oil (like Canola), enough to lightly coat all the florets. Layer evenly on roasting pan and sprinkle salt on top for seasoning. Place in oven and roast until tender, about 35-40 minutes. (It’s nice to get a bit of nice brown color around the edges.)
Place hazelnuts on small tray and place in oven for the last 2 to 3 minutes with the cauliflower just to warm the nuts. (Watch carefully to ensure they don’t burn.)
Prepare the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Cut your kale and then place in big mixing bowl. When the cauliflower is done, throw into the bowl with kale and drizzle dressing (only add as much as you feel will coat everything). The heat from the warm cauliflower will slightly wilt your kale.
Roughly chop your hazelnuts and then toss in the salad, leave a few to garnish on top. Toss all the ingredients together. Serve immediately.
*Depending on your kale, the stem might be tough near the end but you don’t want to waste any part of the leaf. So I strip the leafy part off the bottom half of the stem, and toss the stem out. Then continue cutting the leaves into thin strips for the salad.
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