I had a bit of a foodie adventure while I was travelling, so when I came back to Perth I wanted simple things in salad form. What I craved was kale. The first night I was back I had a bowl full of kale that had been massaged with olive oil and rock salt. And I actually had to force myself into more balanced eating (and other colours of vegetables) so I didn’t also have that the next night. Because.I.really.wanted.to.eat.kale.
Kale is an interesting vegetable, it’s mainly eaten cooked (wilted with bacon, it’s a great side dish for a roast). However you can eat it raw, you just have to prepare it first.
I use Curly Kale (Kurly Kale?).
Cut the spines out of the leaves (I hold the leave up and slice along the stem to cut the leaves away from it). Discard the stem, then tear the pieces up up a little to reduce the size of the leaves.
Throw the leaves into a large bowl and pour about a tablespoon of olive oil on them, grind some rock or sea salt over them and then massage the oil and salt into the leaves until the leaves are completely covered with the oil. They actually change colour (from dull green to a shiney bright green) and texture (they will feel softer to touch). This method removes the bitterness and makes the kale pleasant to eat raw.
Having weaned myself off eating only Kale, I then started experimenting with Kale Salads. I recommend Kale Greek Salad as well as this variation which is basically Kale Greek Salad with Barley. It’s light but also filling. If you want something more substantial and warming that just “salad” this becomes a good option.
- 2 leaves of curly kale, prepared as listed above
- 1/3 red capsicum, diced
- 1/3 punnet of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- Handful of olives
- 1/4 block of feta (about 50gm), diced
- 1 lebanese cucumber, sliced finely
- 1 cup barley, prepared as for the other barley salads I’ve made
- 1 tablespoon of oil reserved from a jar of semi-sundried tomatoes
Combine all the ingredients, then stir. The herbs flavouring jars of semi-sundried tomatoes bring a richness of flavour. At this point I would season it, but taste before adding salt (the Kale already has salt and feta is very salty).
Serves 2 as a meal.