Have you joined the kale bandwagon yet? If you don't already know, kale is amazing for your health. One cup of chopped kale contains a whopping 684% of a daily dose of vitamin K, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C and 9% of calcium. On top of that, you also get some minerals like copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. And, it only has 33 calories!
Here is a delicious recipe for kale slaw - a great way to eat raw kale. My initial inspiration to make this salad was the fact that I'm growing kale in a large container on my patio. I tried growing it in the ground but the bunnies found it way too delicious!
The variety of kale that I'm growing is called Dwarf Blue Curled Kale from Botanical Interests. I just planted another large container of Red Winter Kale, also from Botanical Interests, for a fall crop (fingers crossed).
The great thing about kale is you just harvest a few leaves from each growing plant and it will keep growing more leaves! I think I have about 15 plants in my large container.
My second inspiration for this salad was a kale slaw post by Sue from View from the Great Island. It was the first time I had seen a kale slaw and I loved the idea. I did a little research and plucked ideas from her post and several other recipes I found online and came up with my version of this wonderful slaw. It has ribbon-cut kale, shredded carrots, shredded red cabbage, sliced green onions, chopped parsley and toasted sunflower seeds. The dressing is a Balsamic-Dijon Vinaigrette. A delicious combination of flavors! The first time I served it alongside grilled halibut for guests. The second time, was as a side for burgers on the grill for my family. The third time, for my lunch you see here.
Next time, I'll try adding some chopped dried cherries or dates - Mmmmm!
You don't have to grow your own kale to enjoy this salad. Many stores stock baby kale in clam boxes or bags, or bunches of fresh kale on the produce shelves near the lettuces.
This would make a delicious salad to take to work with a slice of crusty bread or a few grilled chicken slices on top. Or, simply enjoy lunch at home with a good magazine. I don't think you'll be disappointed!
Kale Slaw with Balsamic Dijon VinaigrettePrintable Recipe
Makes 2 main dish portions or 4 side-dish portions
2 cups of kale leaves, stems and any thick veins removed - make a stack and slice into ribbons
1 cup of red cabbage, core removed, sliced thinly into strips
1 large carrot, shredded on the large holes of a box grater
1-2 green onions, sliced thinly, including some of the light green part
1/2 cup parsley, stems removed and chopped (could also add 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil if you have it)
1/2 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds (you could also sub toasted pine nuts)
1/4 cup chopped dates or chopped dried cherries (optional)
1/8 cup of good balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 teaspoon each Salt and Pepper
Slice and chop kale, red cabbage, carrot, green onions and parsley (can be done in the morning and placed into a plastic container or zipper bag. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the dressing, place the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the 1/3 cup of olive oil until emulsified. Taste and add more olive oil or seasonings if desired. Also may be made in the morning and refrigerated, covered until ready to use.
About 30 minutes to one hour before serving*, place the kale mixture in a salad bowl. Add the sunflower seeds and dates, if using. Add the dressing, a little at a time, and toss until well coated. Allow to stand or refrigerate until ready to serve.
*Note: The thicker and tougher the kale, the longer the salad should be dressed ahead of time. I used baby kale from my garden so all it needed 30 minutes to rest.