It appears that the reigning "queen of greens" is kale. A leafy green, kale belongs to the Brassica family that includes broccoli and cabbage. Eating kale in an unprocessed form provides significant health benefits, including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol.
Kale is rich in vitamins, A, C and K. It contains only 33 calories per cup. It is difficult to find such high daily values of many vitamins like these in any other vegetables.
I have been in search of great easy recipes utilizing Kale. The Farmer's Market is full of beautiful selections right now, so it is a great time to take advantage of the freshness! My daughter passed along this recipe from one of her cooking classes. Eating healthy has never been this delicious and easy!!
The ingredient list is quite simple:
And here it is tonight's dinner. Add protein and fruit, and you are all set!
Lemony Kale Salad
The time spent marinating in lemon juice "cooks" the kale a bit and makes it softer.
2 bunches of Kale (Lacinato or Red Russian--7-8 cups after chiffonade)
1/2 cup pine nuts (roasted)
1/4 cup golden raisins or currants
Good extra virgin olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
3-4 tablespoons of grated or shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
1. Carve away and discard stems from kale.
2. Chiffonade the leaves by stacking and tightly rolling them, then slicing them into thin strips. Add sliced kale into a large serving bowl. Toss the leaves in the juice of one lemon covering the kale well. Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil until it is well coated, but not saturated and toss again.
3. Allow to sit for 90 minutes.
4. Toast pine nuts in oven 350 degrees for about 4-5 minutes until slightly brown and allow to cool. Add nuts, currants or raisins, salt and pepper to kale, then top with Parmigiano Reggiano.
Soak raisins or currants in white balsamic vinegar during the 90 minute period that the salad is soaking in the lemon and oil. The salad holds up in the refrigerator until the next day.