Today marks the 4th annual National Kale Day, a celebration of the nutritionally dense and delicious cruciferous green. Kale boasts more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk, and more iron per calorie than beef, but we also adore it for its complex, earthy flavor. Cool weather brings out the best flavor from kale so it thrives in our region during the fall season. One of our favorite ways to enjoy kale is in our Print Kale Salad. We combine the greens with Asian pears for sweetness and fried spiced pumpkin seeds to add some spice and texture.
Print Kale Salad
Serves 4 as side, 2 as main dish
1 bunch lacinato kale
1/2 large asian pear or 1 small asian pear (diced into batons)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 Tb grape seed oil
1/2 tsp smoked spanish paprika
salt and pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tb fresh-squeezed lemon juice
salt and pepper
Thinly slice kale into ribbons, then toss the ribbons with some salt to tenderize. Heat the grapeseed oil in a small sauté pan. When the oil is hot add the pumpkin seeds, then the paprika, salt and pepper, and sauté until they are fragrant and are slightly darker in color. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit. Meanwhile make dressing, whisking the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until combined (or just shake the ingredients vigorously in a jar). Dice the asian pear and add to kale. Add dressing and toss, massaging the kale to tenderize. Toss in the pumpkin seeds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Plate and top with a few shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino cheese.