Thursday, January 21, 2010

Warm Sweet Potato and Kale Salad


I tried rather unsuccessfully to post a Kale Salad recipe a few days ago, it's what you get when you are too lazy to re-type a PDF file, anyway it was a salad I had eaten and liked, but thought it could use some improvement as there were some aspects to it (cold soft squash) that didn't make me happy. I like the idea of kale salad because Kale is still around at the market and it's hard in January to find a leafy local green that wasn't grown in a green house. The last couple of winters I've been doing a lot of cabbage salads as I can no longer in good conscious buy a plastic tub of expensive salad greens (often from California). Even though I think Satur Farms, a local Long Island farm, does a great job of greenhouse greens, cabbages come packaged in their own leaves and winter over without the help of a heated green house (and when I look at Satur Farms website it would seem they are now growing their Winter greens in Florida. Best stick to cabbage and kale sold from actual local farmers).

Here's my version of Kale Salad let me know what you think.

Kale Salad

Peel and cut into bite size chunks 2 large sweet potatoes (if you feel this is too much toss the extras with some salt and serve on the side - also try get the red fleshed kind if you can they look nicer and I think are a little sweeter) toss with 1 T of olive oil and roast in a preheated oven at 425 F for 55 minutes, flipping at least once so as to brown evenly. They will be crunchy and well browned when done.

To make the vinaigrette in a small bowl whisk together: 1 T honey (optional), 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup olive oil, lots of freshly grated black pepper and sea salt to taste.
Set aside.

Just before the sweet potatoes are ready to come out of the oven in a big bowl toss : 8 cups Kale chopped into a chiffonade (long thin strips) or roughly chopped (use what ever kale is at the market that appeals I like Red Russian or Blue (Lacinato) Kale with 1/2 cup toasted walnuts (lightly tossed in salt) roughly crumbled; pour in the vinaigrette a little at a time you may not want to add all of it or you may want to make more - as always take lots of tastes as you go.

Taste and adjust with more oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper or honey.

Toss the sweet potatoes with salt to taste then lightly incorporate them into the kale mixture

Place the salad onto a serving platter and top with 1 cup freshly grated or shaved Parmesan cheese, Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano (or some great local cheese).

I shaved mine over the hot potatoes which I piled on top of the greens and thought it made for a very nice presentation. The salad is so hardy it could be a meal with a small bowl of soup.

Serve immediately while the sweet potatoes are still warm. Enjoy.

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