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Kale in a salad?

June 6, 2012

Here’s the scene: My husband’s not home for dinner and the cupboards are bare. I stop by Trader Joe’s after work to pick up the week’s comestibles and decide to include something for dinner. What would be quick, nutritious and unusual–something my husband would not choose?

As I turn by the case of prepared salads, TJ’s Kale & Edamame Bistro Salad calls out to me. In addition to the kale and edamame, there are sweetened dried cranberries, grape tomatoes, almonds, scallions and a lemon herb dressing. As I place the salad in my cart, I’m thinking beyond tonight’s dinner and to next year’s kale crop. My kale in a salad?

Of course, I arranged the salad on a dinner plate. (I must have been quite hungry since, I didn’t read the nutrition label until after dinner. Dressing adds 210 calories). Chopped in small pieces, the kale seemed “tame” and the other salad additions suitable accompaniments. I’ll try some variation of the above next winter when I have garden kale.

Photo credit: Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times

Around the time of my kale and edamame salad, my sister sent me this link from  Los Angeles Times|Food. The author describes the method for kneading the kale. He claims the “tough cellulose structure breaks down — wilts, actually — and those leaves that once seemed so coarse and fibrous turn silky.” He also reports “the flavor changes as well. That pronounced bitterness mellows.”

The California Cook: Kale in a salad? Yes

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