Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kale and Roasted-Potato Salad...

While there is plenty of excitement around this whole moving deal, I'm a little sad we won't be able to put in a garden this season like we did last year. Between buying a house, trying to get the goods from MN moved and all the jazz that goes with this process, we have been way too busy to try and tend to a garden (let alone one we'd be leaving before being able to reap any of the benefits!).

We had planned on adding to the berry beds and expanding upon the space where we placed our vegetables, especially to make room for more greens like Swiss chard and kale. Plenty of access to farmers' markets (thankfully, in both locations!) will just have to be the ticket for us this year, which is just where we went to pick up the greens we needed for this Kale and Roasted-Potato Salad we had recently.

We'll get to what we did with the fresh kale in a minute, but the potatoes needed a bit of time and attention to prepare them. Using a handful of smaller potatoes, which need to be thinly sliced, along with a red onion while you have a knife and cutting board handy, we tossed them with enough extra-virgin olive oil to coat, along with plenty of salt and fresh ground black pepper. We used fingerling potatoes because we love how well they roast, but red bliss (or any type of "new potato") will do the job.

To give the potato and onion slices plenty of surface space, we divided the mixture between two baking sheets and just made sure to rotate them halfway through the time called for. You might be able to finagle the pieces enough to fit on a single sheet, but it would be very snug with some probable overlapping. Giving them that real estate on the pan allows them to caramelize, burnishing them with a golden brush and adding a bit of crispness.

With those two taken care of, we turned toward the bunch of kale we had, trimming the tougher stems away, then slicing the leaves into manageable pieces and giving them a good rinse. You'll want let most of the water you rinse them in drain away, but you don't need to run them through a salad spinner. In fact, you want to leave a bit of water clinging to the leaves which will help them cook through. Before adding the kale to the heated skillet, a large clove worth of thinly sliced garlic was slid into a drizzle of oil and left for a couple of minutes to crisp and turn golden. With the kale added and allowed to wilt down, a pucker-y dressing made from tart lemon juice, zest from said lemon we robbed the juice from and a small dollop of Dijon mustard was poured over and heated through.

This salad was brought together by tossing the potato mixture with the kale, forming rather hefty servings once portioned out onto our plates. I liked how the potatoes were a little crisp on the outside, yet not hard like a potato chip - the insides were still moist and a bit fluffy. Mixing them with the heartier, but tender greens, coated in that tangy dressing, was a nice way to round out the dish, adding splashes of color, a decidedly bright contrast of flavor and a hint of natural sweetness. Simple, clean and a fantastic way to get in those fresh farmers' market finds!


  1. Mmmm yum, this looks so simple, yet heavenly and delicious! Perfect for a summer evening meal, I can't wait to try it out!

  2. This looks perfect! Love the addition of mustard. Those are some huge fingerlings. I may put in a few tomato plants - the birds swarming in my yard allow that, but for the rest it will be farmer's market for me too. So much easier and better variety. And really Joe, will you ever be in one place long enough to get a decent garden??!!


  3. That sounds fabulous--I love kale! I am off to the big Minneapolis farmers market tomorrow morning, where I am hoping to find some local kale...yum :-)


  4. scribbler - Let us know how you like it!

    Quinn - Probably not, sadly!

    Courtney - I love that market!