Kale and Lemon Lentil Salad
Yes, yes, I said Kale! Don't get so dramatic! You know, kale is really not that bad. Remember how everyone complained about brussels sprouts because they were so gross just boiled? Well, kale is also gross if you just eat it raw with nothing else. So give this a try before you write it off...mkay?
Methods Zucchini is heavy with water. When you grate the squash, you need to release the water in order to get the shreds to crisp up in the pan.
Storage So this is why we use kale...the leaves are tough and really stand up to storage. They won't get soggy, even once dressed. So this salad will hold up for days in the fridge.
Olives Castelvetrano Olives (a.k.a. butter olives) come from Valle del Belice, a region of Southwestern Sicily. They have a soft and juicy texture. I didn't realize I liked green olives until I had a castelvetrano olive! The olives are also antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory. Olives offer protection against oxidative stress and inflammation. The healthy fat plus oleic acid and the polyphenols in olives make them a favorite brain food for cognition and memory. If you don't have these specific olives on hand or can't find them or whatever, you can substitute kalmata olives.
1 large bunch of Dinosaur Kale (about 10 oz)
1/2 cup raw almonds
3 scallions (green onions)
4-5 garlic cloves
1/2 cup EVOO
1 Tblsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
5 oz feta cheese
Salt and fresh pepper
Strip leaves off stems from your kale and discard stems. An easy and quick way to slice up kale leaves are to stack them on top of each other and roll them up into fat cigars, then slice them into long thin ribbons. Uncoil the ribbons and run your knife through them just once or twice more to shorten any very long strips. (you can also just rip the kale leaves up at random if you're not into the visual) Transfer to a large bowl.
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat.
Coarsely chop your almonds; set aside.
Thinly slice the white parts of your scallions and save the green parts for later; transfer to a small skillet. Smash and peel your garlic cloves and add to the same skillet.
Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, remove three 3" strips of lemon peel (avoiding white pith); reserve rest of the lemon for your salad dressing. Add peels to skillet.
Pour ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil into skillet and stir so that all of the elements are coated in oil.
Add your lentils to now-boiling water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender but still al dente, 20–25 minutes (they'll turn mushy if overcooked).
While lentils cook, heat your skillet with scallion mixture over medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic starts to brown and lemon peel starts to curl, about 3 minutes. Add almonds and cook, stirring frequently, until almonds are browned, about 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cumin seeds and red pepper flakes.
Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, shaking to help oil drain; the oil will be the base of your salad dressing so save that! Spread almond mixture on a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet. Season with salt and let cool (the nuts will get crunchier as they sit).
Crumble feta into bowl with kale. Smash your olives or tear with your fingers and add to the salad. Thinly slice reserved scallion greens and add most to bowl (save some for serving). Add juice of reserved lemon and ½ tsp. salt.
When your lentils are done, strain them, shaking to get rid of excess moisture, and add to bowl with kale; season with salt. Add infused oil and half of nut mixture nuts and toss to combine.
Divide salad among bowls. Garnish with remaining nuts and scallion greens. Eat around the lemon peels and garlic slices, which are edible but intense.
#eatUP #elevateyourplate #olives #kale #salad