The Earth is Frozen

Red Russian Kale, excellent for salad.

Red Russian Kale, excellent for salad.

We’ve been in Maine for the past few days and I don’t know what to expect when I walk out to the garden this morning.  I find the earth is frozen solid.  There are ice crystals on the path and even a tiny puddle containing concentric circles of ice, filling one of my old footprints.  A friend in Maine gave me a huge Amaryllis yesterday and I had wanted to fill a flowerpot for it with some of my garden soil but I can’t budge the ground, even with my pitchfork.  I look around at my remaining vegetables.  My kale is unperturbed by its frozen feet and I pick some for a salad for our dinner.  Raw kale makes a nutritious and very tasty salad, especially after the frost has sweetened the leaves.  I planted two varieties last spring and choose the one called Red Russian.  Its crisp leaves are deepest green with red ribs.  I only need six or eight leaves which I’ll slice crosswise, very thinly.  I serve the kale with shallots, feta cheese and black walnuts that we harvested from the yard, dressed with a light lemony vinaigrette.  Here’s the recipe:

 KALE SALAD (Serves four)

  • 6 to 8 leaves of kale
  • 1 small shallot sliced very thin
  • 1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 C. black walnuts [or other nuts], toasted.
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon Juice
  • I small clove garlic, minced
  • Salt & pepper

Mix last four ingredients in a small jar and shake well.  Remove ribs from kale leave and slice crosswise, very thinly (no more than 1/4″ wide).  Put kale and shallot in a salad bowl, add vinaigrette and mix well.  Let stand for at least an hour then add cheese and black walnuts. 

Similar recipes call for pignoli nuts but I am outraged by the price of pignoli nuts today.  If you don’t have black walnuts, any toasted nut will do but the black walnuts counterbalance the flavor of the kale very nicely.

This salad's lemony vinaigrette gives a refreshing brightness and counterbalances the flavor of the Kale.

This salad’s lemony vinaigrette gives a refreshing brightness and counterbalances the flavor of the Kale.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 2

    krisjandora said,

    Love this! Especially “unperturbed by its frozen feet” !

    Like


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