Kale has been with us as a frost resistant dark green leafy vegetable that our grandparents and ancient European cousins have been eating for centuries. There is written history that suggests kale has been cultivated for over 2,000 year, enjoyed by the Greeks and Romans, and was a staple on Scottish tables in the dark ages. A member of the same family as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, collards, cauliflower and broccoli, Brassica oleracea, all are related to mustard, and a large variety of other greens used by cultures around the world.
The Brassicas are loaded with vitamins, minerals, phyto-chemicals, and thought to be essential for a healthy diet, protecting us from some types of cancer and heart disease. "Greens" are one of those things we probably don't eat enough of, because unless slathered in bacon grease and "cooked down" most of us have not encountered many brassicas to our liking.
|The cold prep tables at True Foods Kitchen are in the dining room!|
|Lacinato also called "black" or "dragon kale" is preferable for this salad, but curly or red Russian will work in a pinch.|
You'll need 4-6 cups kale, about 2 nice bunches.
|Wash leaves well, and remove thick vein with a scissors (lots easier than using a knife)|
|Chop leaves crosswise into 1/4 inch strips, then "massage" by squeezing and tossing. this softens the fibers.|
|Whisk together the juice of 1 lemon, 3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves mashed garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and a generous pinch of red pepper flakes. Pour over kale and add 1/4 cup coarsely grated Pecorino or Asiago cheese.|