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Not Just Another Kale Salad. Really.

alertWe had a flood last night. And hail. And tornado sirens. It felt almost biblical, and we were fortunate that the only serious damage was to our garden and maybe our roof, both of which have taken a beating this spring and would yell, “Uncle!” if they could.

But after all the excitement of rushing to the basement, watching incredible footage on the news, and texting back and forth with friends stuck in high water all over town, we ended up with a bonus night off. More than that, it was a bonus night IN. With waves flooding local businesses and intermittent giant hail, there was no going to baseball practice or a tennis match. Or even to the local taco place.

I took the whole thing as a message from the universe to stay home and make dinner.

So, I took some ground meat out of the freezer, nuked it and made some tacos. While they were baking, I  made my new favorite salad for about the tenth time this month. Seriously. I can’t get enough of this salad.

Yes, it’s made from kale. I know, you might be getting sick of kale, but this is pretty special kale, okay? It’s my attempt to imitate a very popular salad served at a pair of local restaurants. The key here is shredding the kale as finely as you can. I tried doing this several ways (including in the food processor, which left me with a pile of green pulp) and the best is to use a big, sharp knife. Remove the stems from the leaves, grab a pile of leaves, and cut them into the skinniest ribbons you possibly can. Once you’ve done that, the rest of the salad almost makes itself. Oh, except for the julienned apples.

At the restaurant where I had this salad, they use candied almonds. I don’t candy almonds on a typical Wednesday night, so I just used regular sliced almonds and added a bit of honey to the dressing to make up for the lost sweetness. This is one of those salads that people really gobble up. Like, you’ll wish you had leftovers but you never will.

kalesaladKale & Apple Salad
1 apple such as Braeburn, Gala, or Honey Crisp (organic)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 head curly kale (organic)
3 tbs. grated Parmesan
2 tbs. shredded Parmesan



For the dressing:
1 1/2 lemons
6 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. Harrisa or cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper to taste

Finely slice the kale and put in a larger bowl than you think you’ll need. Cut the apple into matchsticks (I used a mandoline, but you can also do this with a sharp knife; just cut the apple into thin slices and then cut those slices into thin strips) and add to the bowl. Toss in the almonds and the grated Parm. Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a jar or a bowl and taste; add more oil, honey, or salt & pepper if needed. Pour over the salad and mix well. Add the shredded Parm and a good crank of cracked pepper and mix again.

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