Tag Archives: sides

Kale Salad

i’m eating leftover kale as a snack RIGHT NOW.

I have a lot of flaws.  I’m impatient, competitive and sometimes I listen to the same song 4235 times in a row.  I quote Liz Lemon and wait to see if anyone notices, I yell at pedestrians for crossing where there’s no crosswalk and do EXACTLY the same thing myself, I cheat at cards and I would agree to watch a documentary only if I was also reading a book.  I am 28 years old and still make fart jokes, I eat mini marshmallows straight from the bag and I never listen to my voicemail.

But!  I also eat a shitload of kale, so I figure it all balances out.

Realistically, I eat this salad 2-3 times a week.  Because I LOVE it.  People I’ve made it for have scoffed, heartily, at this salad, because technically the kale is raw.  But they have all been turned by the power of kale salad.  Once, a 7 year old ate this salad voluntarily.  I dress this salad in one of three ways: sesame-soy dressing, lemon-parmesan dressing, or garlic-tahini dressing.  Any of the three will change your life.  Additionally, you get to enjoy the smug sense of superiority you can only get from eating something REALLY healthy.  Later, when you eat french fries while drinking a beer in a bar, you can say to everyone in shouting distance “IT’S FINE, I ATE A LOT OF RAW KALE EARLIER.”  Everyone will really appreciate it.

The main drawback to this salad is that it’s about 100% more labor intensive than I like cooking to be.  You have to wash the kale (it’s a sandy vegetable), rip out the bitter, overly cruciferous spines, rip up the leaves, massage the lot with salt, then rinse all the salt off, then wring it out, then dress it.  It’s like a 20 minute process.  But it’s worth it.  I had the best run of my life after having had coffee, 4 gallons of water and kale salad.  It’s magic.  (I also just realized this salad is vegan the only way food is acceptably vegan: accidentally.)  Because I haven’t written a blog post in 7 years, I’m going to give you all three dressing recipes.  You’re welcome.

Kale Salad

2 bunches of kale (I make two bunches for only myself.  If you’re making it for guests, probably go 3-4.)

2 tablespoons or so of kosher salt

Dressing of choice*

put on some usher or something while you’re washing, it’s gonna be awhile.

So basically, the salt cooks the kale a little.  It wilts the leaves, takes away the bitterness and shrinks it.  So!  You wash the kale leaves very well (sandy!), rip out the spines of the leaves, and rip up the leaves.  Put all the ripped up leaves in a big bowl.

When you’ve washed and ripped all the kale (approximately 2 months after starting the process), sprinkle about a couple teaspoons or so of kosher salt all over the kale.  Don’t be afraid of saltiness, because you’re going to rinse all the salt off later.  Massage the salt into the kale for 2 minutes.  If possible, draft someone else to do the massaging, because why not!

this picture is actually from when i was in denver a couple months ago and made kale salad for sue. she also now eats it multiple times a week.

After massaging, you can let the kale sit for awhile, kind of marinating in the salt, if you like your kale really wilted.  If not, rinse the salt off right after the massaging and the kale will be more crunchy and bouncy.  When you’re ready to rinse it off, put all the kale in a colander and rinse it very well.

too salty kale is tragic.

If you do a bad job, the kale will be too salty and everyone will cry.  So rinse it well.  Then, take it in handfuls and squeeze out all the excess water, putting the kale back into the big bowl.  Then dress it and try not to eat it all while you make the rest of dinner.

*Dressing options:

Soy-sesame – My favorite.  2 teaspoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons rice vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, black pepper.  If you have sweet Thai chili sauce, put a couple teaspoons of that in there too.

Lemon-parmesan – juice of 2 lemons, zest of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 cup or so fresh parmesan, salt and pepper.

Garlic-tahini – 1-2 cloves garlic, zested on a microplane, juice of 1 lemon, 3 tablespoons of tahini paste, salt and pepper.  In the interest of being honest, I will admit that I copied this recipe from a kale salad they have at Whole Foods in the pre-made salad section, which I eat when I am lazy.

– Cat



Filed under Dressings, Salad, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Fried Chickpeas with Chorizo and Spinach

they are cold in this picture, and they still look that good.

My birthday was Sunday.  I’m 28.  I went out to dinner and drinks with some friends on Saturday, I wore a dress that didn’t look anything like a peppermint stick and I didn’t make an ass out of myself, which was a nice change from my 27th birthday.  I guess I’m growing up.  Sunday, my actual birthday, my good buddy Linda made me dinner and one of the things she made was Fried Chickpeas with Chorizo and Spinach, a recipe she got from Mark Bittman.  She also made me my Traditional Birthday Dessert Request: dirt pudding.  Dirt pudding, if you don’t know what that is because you forgot about being 7 years old, is kind of like a trifle, except it’s chocolate pudding, crushed Oreos and whipped cream, with gummy worms in it.  I love it, and I ask for it every year.

The chickpeas and chorizo was the best thing I’ve had in ages, which is why I made it myself today (Tuesday) even though I just ate it (Sunday).  I will tell you that it was a serious pain in the ass to find Spanish chorizo (a dry, pimento/paprika heavy sausage that’s like a spicier version of summer sausage).  You’ll want to check in the cured meats section, which is probably near the cheese.  But it’ll all be worth it when you smell that paprika-y oil start to seep out of the chorizo as it crisps in the pan.  You’ll forget you even looked at the sodium content of the chorizo on the back of the package.  You’ll forget that promise you made to yourself about eating less cured meat and more coconut water-fiber supplement-sea bream extract-b1423 vitamin-antioxidant super food crap that makes you live longer, because that long life would have no Spanish chorizo in it.

This is so good, I ate it on Sunday and had to make it on Tuesday because I couldn’t bear the thought of not having any in my fridge.  This recipe also has sherry in it.  Oh my god it’s delicious.  Just make it.

Fried Chickpeas with Chorizo and Spinach, from Mark Bittman‘s column, the Minimalist, recipe here

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and as dry as possible

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 oz of Spanish chorizo, diced (I used about twice that, because more sausage is always better.)

1 bag of baby spinach

1/4 cup sherry

1-2 cups breadcrumbs (I toasted French bread and put it through the food processor, I like the bigger chunks)

salt and pepper


In a large, oven-safe pan on medium heat (I used a big metal skillet), heat a few tablespoons of the olive oil on medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the chickpeas and garlic in an even layer.  Reduce heat to medium and cook, shaking the pan every so often, until the chickpeas start to brown, 10-13 minutes.  Then, add the chorizo, and cook another 10 minutes, stirring every so often.  When the chickpeas and chorizo are crisp, remove them to a plate with a slotted spoon.  Pour the sherry into the pan and let it de-glaze and reduce for a minute or two, then dump in the bag of spinach.  Cook the spinach until it’s soft and the liquid has mostly evaporated.  Pour the chickpeas and chorizo back into the pan, toss with the spinach and top with the breadcrumbs.  Put the pan under your broiler for a minute or two to toast the top, if you like.

A note- my mom loves sherry.  She and I once got into a heated argument over whether I was going to put sherry into the risotto I was making.  I dedicate this post to her, and would like to state publicly: you were right, I should have put sherry in it.

– Cat

this is what it looked like when i took it out from under the broiler.


Filed under Legumes, Meat, Recipes, Sides