In a bid to constantly improve my (our) eating habits, I'm experimenting with different fruits, vegetables, grains and seeds. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'll ever give up butter, cheese, cream, meat, pastries and the occasional junk food, but I am aiming to eat really well 90% of the time with the remaining 10% being dedicated to treats. Not a bad deal. One of the vegetables I'm discovering is kale, in particular, black kale. It's also called Tuscan kale (cavalo nero), dinosaur kale and lacinato kale. It's been grown in Tuscany for centuries and is one of the traditional ingredients of minestrone and ribollita.
When I first saw this recipe on Dr. Andrew Weil's website, it looked healthy but uninspired, to say the least. On a trip to our health food market, I saw organic black kale on special so I bought a bunch. James and I made the salad, let it sit for about 15-20 minutes and tucked in. We both had the same reaction: delicious. We ate the whole bowl and vowed to make it every week. Now if we could only get Emma and Oliver to try it......
- 4-6 cups, Italian black kale (Lacinato, "dinosaur," cavolo nero) midribs removed, loosely packed
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I used between 6-8 tablespoons)
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed
- salt & pepper, to taste
- hot red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2/3 cup grated Pecorino Toscano cheese (Rosselino variety if you can find it) or other flavorful grating cheese such as Asiago or Parmesan (I used parmesan)
- 1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs from lightly toasted bread
- Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a generous pinch (or more to taste) of hot red pepper flakes.
- Pour over kale in serving bowl and toss well.
- Add 2/3 of the cheese and toss again.
- Let kale sit for at least 5 minutes. Add bread crumbs, toss again, and top with remaining cheese.