A look outside the window makes it pretty clear that the growing season has all but shut down. In reality, and some home gardens, farm fields and greenhouses around the state, there is still plenty of fresh, homegrown produce waiting to be picked and turned into a recipe for the family table.
Some root vegetables like beets, radishes and carrots can spend a few more weeks buried in the soil before being pulled and brought to market. And those that show themselves above ground like spinach, bok choy and some sturdy salad greens can still stand up to a few light frosts and gain an amazing amount of sweetness with each blast of cold.
Kale, in particular, is one green you should be looking for at any of the winter markets around Geauga and neighboring counties. This super green, a good source of protein and fiber and loaded with iron and vitamins, is making a come back in kitchens, shedding a long reputation as one of the “poor relative” vegetables, along with humble root vegetables like turnips and rutabagas. This recipe puts kale in a salad that needs a little “massaging” to soften the leaf and meld the flavors. Unlike tender salad greens, kale holds up longer to dressings, keeping its shape.
From my Ohio kitchen to yours, stay ‘green’ this winter with wonderful salads and hardy greens.
Massaged Kale Salad with Mango
Makes 4 servings
1 bunch kale (black kales aka Lacinato kale), stalks removed and discard the leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
1 fresh lemon, juiced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Good quality sea salt
2 teaspoons honey
Freshly ground black pepper
1 mango, diced
Toasted nuts (pine nuts or slivered almonds)
Place the kale in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with half of the lemon juice, drizzle with the oil and a sprinkling of the salt. Massage the kale with your fingertips until it begins to soften and wilt slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining lemon juice with the honey and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. While whisking, pour in the ¼ cup of oil in a steady thin stream until dressing comes together. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss. Add the mango and nuts. Toss again and serve.