Massaged Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Massages are the ultimate way to relax and unwind. Kale responses similarly to the human body after a massage as its tough leaves chill out and become smooth and soft. It sounds a little silly to massage kale, but it is worth the extra work to transform this hardy vegetable into a more delicate leafy green.

A little olive oil and balsamic vinegar go a long way when massaging kale, but I like to serve it with extra oil and vinegar at the table to let family or guests drizzle more if desired. Cranberries, blue cheese and roasted sweet potatoes turn this salad into a meal that’s satisfying enough on its own. It also makes a nice side dish with roasted turkey or pork tenderloin.

Roasted Sweet Potato Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon olive oil

Salad Ingredients:
1 bunch kale
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to evenly coat and arrange in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, flipping with a spatula halfway through cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, remove stems from kale and chop. Place kale in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Massage the leaves with clean hands for about two minutes, until well coated and kale begins to soften and wilt.
  3. Add blue cheese, cranberries, salt, pepper and roasted sweet potatoes. Toss to combine and serve.

Servings: 4

 

Green Salad with Strawberry Champagne Vinaigrette

I was inspired to create this simple salad when I received some beautiful green leaf lettuce in my winter CSA. What a delightful surprise to receive fresh, locally grown lettuce on a cold winter day. With homemade strawberry jam also in my CSA, I used this treasured treat to create a Strawberry Champaign Vinaigrette. The dressing makes this side salad taste like summer, and when strawberries are in season I plan to toss some on top. For now, I’ll use this pantry staple to enjoy the preserved flavors as I fondly reflect on last summer.

Ingredients:
1 head green leaf lettuce
2 tablespoons strawberry jam, preferably homemade
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted
blue cheese crumbles for serving

Directions:

  1. Wash and tear lettuce leaves and place in a large bowl.
  2. In a small jar with a lid, combine strawberry jam, champagne vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Shake until well combined.
  3. Drizzle lettuce with strawberry champagne vinaigrette and toss to evenly coat. Top salad with an equal amount of pecans and desired amount of blue cheese crumbles before serving.

Servings: 4