Kale, yeah!

Here's a secret: I never intended to actually enjoy kale. The first time I brought a leafy fistful home from the co-op, I did it purely to impress R. I thought it would earn me some hippie, healthnut cred. It was in this same spirit that I agreed to hike up Camel's Hump with him in the dark by the light of a headlamp...in the rain.

But wow...kale is cool (consequently, so was the hike). It's absolutely delicious sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and lemon. From that first fateful fistful, it became a suppertime staple in our household. Equal parts scrumptious and righteous, it's a food you can't help but feel good eating.

But wait...there's more good news! Kale is very easy to grow. I buried a few seeds in my garden on Memorial Day, and am now enjoying piles of kale. It's is extremely hardy,  and its elegant ruffled leaves remind me of green flamenco costumes.

In these dog days of summer, I loathe sweating over the stove. So this kale salad recipe (from the folks at Self) was a true find as I attempt to keep up with my booming kale crop. Filling, full of fiber, and only 277 calories per serving...not to mention, it tastes like pickles. YUM!

Quick Pickled Kale Salad (via Self Magazine)
pair with Vino Verde for a refreshing summer dinner
  • 1 3/4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large cucumber (about 10 oz), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups thinly sliced kale
  • 1 1/4 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon canola (or vegetable) oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

Combine vinegar, 1/2 cup water and sugar in a bowl. Stir in cucumber and onion; set aside to let pickle. Toss kale with chickpeas, 1/3 cup pickling liquid, oil, salt and pepper. Arrange in a large shallow bowl or platter. Strain cucumber and onion and add to platter. Top with hard-boiled egg slices before serving.

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