For more than a few good reasons, you’ll find kale salads make frequent appearances on our dinner table.
Spend just one minute searching for kale on the internet and you’ll produce hundreds of websites touting the health benefits of this leafy green vegetable.
That’s because it’s packed with antioxidants like vitamins A, C and K , which studies believe contribute to the prevention of various cancers.
Kale is also loaded with fiber, so if you want to lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease, kale is the way to go.
All that being said, most of the folks I know wouldn’t think to wash a batch of kale to add to their salads. It can be a bit bitter and tough, so many of us toss those greens into a pan with garlic and olive oil.
It wasn’t until I attended a cooking class a few years ago, that I realized this good-for-me vegetable made a terrific base for salads.
The key to toning down the bitterness and softening these sometimes tough greens is to work the dressing in with your hands so you can break down their fibers a bit. I’ve used this method for my kale salad recipes ever since.
The inspiration for this kale salad recipe comes from Hector’s in Kirkland, Washington.
We stopped there for dinner a few weekends ago, and when I saw a quinoa and kale salad on the menu, I had to give it a try.
I wasn’t disappointed. Hector’s served their salad with a garlicky dressing that worked well with the Parmesan cheese, crunchy sunflower seeds, and dried currents they added to the mix.
You know I wasn’t going to be satisfied until I could make my own version, and it didn’t take long!
I swapped out currents for dried apricots (currants were expensive), then created my own garlicky dressing. Overall, this salad was pretty darn close to Hector’s chef’s delicious creation.
Thanks Hector’s! I’m a grateful patron of your establishment. You can guarantee we’ll be back!
One more thing before I sign off for the night. I need to announce the winner of Ball’s Canning giveaway.
Congratulations to Hetal! We’ll be contacting you for your mailing information. Thank you everyone for joining in!
Shake It Up! Switch out kale for spinach, or even beet greens and chard. You could swap dried cranberries, dried blueberries or currents for the dried apricots.
- 8 cups kale, roughly chopped into bite sized pieces
- ¼ cup red quinoa, cooked according to package directions and cooled
- ¼ cup dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- Combine garlic, olive oil, vinegar and honey in a small bowl.
- Combine remaining ingredients, EXCEPT Parmesan cheese in a large bowl.
- Toss dressing with salad ingredients well, then lightly massage with your hands to soften kale and meld flavors.
- Lightly toss in Parmesan cheese.
Food energy: 165kcal Saturated fatty acids: 1.69g Monounsaturated fatty acids: 4.20g Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 1.02g Total fat: 6.92g Calories from fat: 62 Cholesterol: 3mg Carbohydrate, by difference: 21.19g Total dietary fiber: 3.43g Protein: 7.06g Total lipid (fat): 7.62g Water: 135.22g Ash: 2.61g Total sugars: 4.56g Calcium: 249mg Iron: 2.69mg Magnesium: 56mg Phosphorus: 134mg Potassium: 690mg Sodium: 143mg
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