This is a guest post by Jenny Wang. Jenny is a Institute of Culinary Education graduate, private chef, and food consultant. Oh, and she’s also who we go to for anything Asian…
Kale. It seems to be everywhere recently. From the myriad of kale chips that adorn the snacks shelf at Whole Foods to the locavoresporting an “Eat More Kale” shirt, kale has finally risen to veggie royalty. It’s no wonder Chefs and health aficionados alike are big fans: at a perfect 1,000 on the ANDI(Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) and anumami all its own, this dark leafy green is the perfect way to elevate a simple dish to a vitamin-packed and delicious meal.
A robust vegetable, kale is actually part of the cabbage family and thus holds up much better than delicate lettuces and other greens. It is extremely high in beta carotene, vitamin K, and sulforaphane (potent anti-cancer chemical). However, it can be overpowering when eaten raw. In order to preserve the nutrients of the vegetable while softening the taste, kale is best steamed or stir-fried. Alternatively, it can be baked or dehydrated into chip form as a healthier (albeit addictive) alternative to potato chips.
Unlike most greens, kale is actually sweeter after undergoing a frost. It is a fall and winter vegetable, thus being a great green to eat seasonally during the latter months of the year. Many New York farmers offer several kale varieties starting in the summer, the most popular being Dinosaur kale (narrow, embossed blue-green leaves) and Curly kale (wide, ruffled green-purple leaves). Find kale at your local farmer’s market and enjoy your next meal knowing you’re eating seasonally and supporting New York agriculture!
This simple salad pairs the strong flavor of kale with the sweetness of peaches and delicate acidity of lemon with the creamy texture of goat cheese.
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
1 bunch curly kale – stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped to bite-size pieces
1 peach – peeled, cored, chopped into bite-size pieces
4 oz young goat cheese – crumbled
2 oz toasted almonds – chopped
1 lemon – juiced
1 tablespoon clover honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1. Steam kale over boiling water for 3-5 minutes or microwave in bowl covered with a paper towel for 2 minutes. Kale should be wilted but not discoloring.
2. Cool kale in refrigerator as you prepare other ingredients or shock in ice bath & spin dry.
3. Whisk together lemon and Dijon. Whisk in honey, salt, and pepper to taste.
4. Toss kale and peaches together. Toss with lemon/honey dressing.
5. Crumble goat cheese on top.
6. Sprinkle on toasted almonds.
Kale Salad at Northern Spy Food Co.
Northern Spy Food Co. is a seasonal restaurant nestled in East Village. Named after one of New York State’s classic heirloom apples, the restaurant emphasizes locally grown and crafted products – from the produce to the beer. Even the décor is built from many reclaimed and repurposed materials! One of its signature dishes is the kale salad: dinosaur kale tossed with lemon and olive oil, mixed with roasted butternut squash and toasted almonds, topped with pecorino. A perfect combination of crunchy, earthy, and savory, this salad will keep you coming back for more. (P.S. order some sticky pork buns and make it a meal!)