I've long been a fan of Heidi Swanson's natural food blog, 101 Cookbooks. Simply put: she cooks the way I cook at home so I've always related to her in that way. We also both currently call the Bay Area home and, apparently, love raw kale salads. I was a vegetarian for fifteen years and then, one day out of the blue, started selectively eating meat. Something funny happens to your cooking habits when, throughout the majority of your adult years, you never prepared meat or seafood at home. The truth is that I'm just not as comfortable handling raw meat or fish and am really not as adept at preparing it as I am my wide range of vegetarian recipes. So I rely on lots of big salads, egg dishes, whole grains, and the occasional chicken or salmon recipe. And after today, lots of raw kale salads.
The dressing for this salad contains ingredients that you probably already have on hand at home: good olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic, and pecorino cheese (or paremsan works, too). When massaged into regularly stiff kale and allowed to sit for 10-15 minutes, the greens soften and turn into a delicious, bright healthy salad. Season-less, filing, and nourishing. Heidi calls for toasted and torn brown bread for this recipe but treats it as optional, so I decided to leave it out and opted for a slice of crusty baguette to accompany my salad instead. You can make all sorts of adaptations with the recipe, adding in toasted walnuts of currants or sliced avocado and cabbage. Treat it as your blank canvas, or enjoy it as is. You can't go wrong either way.
Get the recipe: Raw Tuscan Kale Salad at 101 CookbooksRelated: Kale Salad with Apricots, Avocado, and Parmesan (Image: Megan Gordon)