One of the best things about being a blogger is that I can find out fun facts about food and then relay that information to my readers. (And everything I say must be true because it is on the Internet.)
So today I thought I’d share some thoughts on egos…kale egos. I don’t think most people know but the kale ego is very fragile. Even though kale has gained popularity over the years, it still has some issues. Apparently, there are people out there that still don’t like it so it makes Kale feel “inadequate.”
There is a lot of skill to stroking the kale ego. First, you need to tell it how big and leafy it is. (Even if you’ve had bigger and leafier greens in the past, fib a little to make the kale feel good about itself.)
Tell Kale you’ve never seen leaves so big and green. (Oooo, kale will love this.)
Another thing you can do is tell Kale how nutrition rich it is for people. Make sure you emphasize all Kale’s awesome vitamins and anti-cancer properties. I mean, what other veggie has all that beta-carotene, potassium, Vitamin C and calcium. Only you, Kale, can do nutrition like that. (Yes, yes, yes!)
Finally, if your Kale ego still isn’t elevated, it is time to physically massage it. Kale can be a bitter friend to some and turn people off. So when I’m trying to soften up my Kale for a night of being tossed around in a salad, I like to massage a little of my dressing into it’s firm, rippled skin. Any healthy American Kale will love all this attention.
Just remember most Kales may act obstreperous and difficult but with right amount of attention and tender loving care, a good Kale is ready to go. It is just your job to say yes to it.
Kale and Baby greens Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp minced shallots
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp honey
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (use the good stuff)
Mix vinegar, shallots, mustard and honey in a medium bowl. Whisking like your life depends on it, drizzle in the olive oil. (Or you can have your immersion blender going and drizzle in the olive oil that way)
5 ounces of Tuscan Kale (Lacinato Kale) or Dinosaur Kale; NOT CURLY KALE, cut into ribbons
5 ounces of your favorite baby lettuce blend
1 ½ cup diced butternut squash, roasted (Oven 400, line a baking sheet with parchment, toss butternut squash in some olive oil and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. I used espelette pepper. Cook about 20 minute or until tender but not mushy.)
4 ounces goat cheese
½ cup dried cherries
4 slices of bacon, chopped
Directions for salad
In a large bowl, add the kale. Drizzle in 1-2 Tbsp of dressing and using clean hands, massage the kale so the dressing is coating it.
Let is sit about 5 minutes alone. (Kind of like a Kale time out.)
Meanwhile, sing a song to yourself. (I was just checking to see who actually reads the directions.)
Ding. Add your remaining lettuces to the kale. Mix it up well.
Either divide salad on 4-6 plates or on one big platter. Evenly distribute the squash, goat cheese, cherries and bacon. (Or if making individual salads, put the most bacon on your plate. Your guests will never know the difference.)
Serve with the remaining dressing on the side.
It has taken me years to understand the Kale Ego and I will admit there are parts to it that I will never understand. I do know that some kind words and a good rub down will make any Kale a satisfying experience for your guests. (Or at least that is what you’ll tell it.)