kale salad

Salad, Gluten Free, Fall



Salad lady. There are a handful of dinners we have coming up and lo and behold, my assignment is consistent. We often do a quicky weeknight warm kale salad with a roasted squash, pom seed, pepita combo, so I was going for something different here. Light but not lacking, something that would welcome leftover chicken or steak for Hugh and a couple fried eggs for me. A base salad if you will? It is perfectly crunchy to go along with the warmer, richer foods that are more common this time of year. I like raw shaved fennel personally, but Hugh said it feels like eating shoelaces, so I roasted the bits this time. Fennel has some natural sweetness that comes out in a quick roast and he's right, they are a little nicer to eat this way. I made a few notes below in the recipe but if you're bringing green salad to your holiday table, this one is worth considering. 



Some of you will see an anchovy written in the dressing and think 'gross' but I promise you it is just a teensy bit of 'hm that's interesting and salty nice' that makes the whole salad special. It does not taste like fish. I use the ones from Trader Joes and use 1 large filet, which is about a tsp. worth. If you are completely averse or do not eat fish, a tsp. of capers will be a nice substitute. The dressing can be made in advance, mind as well double it if you like having dressing on hand (which is key if you appreciate meal prep). As per comments, it's pretty simple, so if you like a bolder dressing, add an extra anchovy and perhaps a dollop of mayo to emulsify. The fennel may be roasted a day in advance too, and otherwise, everything comes together quite quickly.

1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper
1 bunch of lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup toasted pinenuts

herby lemony vinaigrette

1 garlic clove
1 anchovy filet
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey or agave
handful of fresh parsley
few basil leaves
juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp. sea salt, to taste
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 375' and line a small baking tray with parchment. Trim and core the fennel and chop it into 1/2" pieces. Add a drizzle of oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper to season and toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes and set aside to cool completely. 
While the fennel roasts, make your dressing. Blitz all ingredients together in a blender or food processor.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, a few spoonfuls of dressing and massage it into the kale. It should reduce by half once you go rubbing the dressing into it. Add the garbanzos, raisins, parm, pinenuts, cooled fennel and toss again, adding more dressing as needed. No one likes dry kale. This salad can hang in the fridge for a few hours, pre dressed. Garnish with a sprinkle of extra cheese and nuts. 

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Entrée, Gluten Free, Salad, Side, Summer


Are you summering well? I see you people who make summer bucket lists and I imagine that helps one to optimize their time this season. I have an unacceptable amount of sand in my car, I am eating lots of tomatoes and fruit crisps and we cleaned up the front porch so we can sit out there at dusk with a glass of wine and watch the kids run around in the grass so I do feel in it. We didn't plan a big trip, I need more long afternoons at the beach and I haven't had friends over for dinner as often as I'd like but I believe summer lasts through September so there is still time. Sounds like perhaps I need a list. 

I am going to Vietnam on Friday, so there's that. It is sort of last minute and part of a campaign I am working on with Celestial Seasonings. We're going to a cinnamon farm to see the process of harvesting, drying, grinding the cinnamon that is then used for teas or cooking and such and I can't wait. In the depths of my momm-ing I have felt so eager to learn and see something new; break the routine. It will feel good to recharge in that way. I am scared to leave my people, but thrilled that I get to see a new place. This job, it's pretty wild and I like it. I will be on a plane/in transit almost just as long as I will be in the country so please pass on any book recommendations. I am picky about self help/spiritual stuff and can't do super sad, but tell me what you're loving. I'll share some photos on Instagram and chat with you lovelies in a few weeks! 


I like the crunch and structure of kale in salads but I know it can be a bit much. You could swap in tender greens or romaine in its place, or even half and half, and not change anything aside from the massaging the dressing into the greens step.The nuts and dressing can be made in advance.

spicy pepitas
1 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. maple syrup
3/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne, to taste
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

cilantro dressing
handful of cilantro
1 garlic clove
1 anchovy, optional
1 tsp. dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. cashew butter*
1/2 tsp. sea salt
pinch of fresh ground pepper
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

* I usually add a dollop of mayonnaise to make my dressings a little thicker, but wanted to try a plant based route. They sell cashew butter at Trader Joes or Whole Foods or surely your local health food store. Otherwise, about 1/3 cup of cashews soaked in water will do the same thing if blended long enough. 

1 bundle of Lacinato/Tuscan Kale, stemmed and well chopped
1/4 of a red onion, shaved thin
1/2 cup cooked lentils
1/2 cup crumbled sheeps' milk feta, plus more for garnish
1 avocado, pitted and cubed
1 peach, pitted and cubed

To make the spicy pepitas, warm the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the maple, pepitas, salt, cayenne and garlic powder and stir to coat. Continue to stir until the nuts are toasted, about 3 minutes. Remove to a piece of parchment to cool completely. 

For the dressing, in a blender, combine the cilantro, garlic, anchovy, dijon, cashew butter, salt, pepper, cider vinegar and lemon juice. Blitz a few times to chop. Add the olive oil and whiz until everything is well combined. 

In a large salad bowl, add the chopped kale. Add a drizzle of the dressing and work it into the kale with your hands, breaking down some of the structure so the kale is nicer to eat. Add the onion, lentils, feta cheese, avocados, peaches, handful of the pepitas and toss to coat. Serve the salad with a few spicy pepitas and feta cheese on top. 

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Entrée, Side, Gluten Free, Spring, Summer


People who care about food, have a philosophy about what they eat and why they eat it. Some are vegetarians for animal reasons, or vegan because of health purposes, you may not eat gluten because of an allergy, or some stay away from it as part of an anti-inflammatory diet. No red meat, no foods with a face, just fish... there are so many ways you could qualify your eating habits. While eating a gigantic bowl of this salad, I was reminded of why I try to eat well as often as possible. You feel so much better. I don't want to get into a discussion of the right and wrong of what to eat, because I don't feel it's a black and white issue. You have to respect yourself and those you're feeding, and believe that what you are putting inside, does matter, and then make your own decisions. All I can say is that for myself, I find a big bowl of raw kale salad, a subtle reminder of how good it feels to put healthy things in our bodies.

I know it's a bit early in the season to be singing the praises of kale, but this salad is my current obsession. If you are familiar with this hearty green, the thought of eating it raw sounds a bit daunting. It is tough, and somewhat bitter. I don't often cook with it because it tastes so earthy, and now I am eating it raw, by the bowlful. You toss it with this light tangy dressing, while it's speckled with bits of grainy bread crumbs and salty parmesan and it's amazing how something so simple and good for you, can taste this great too. The salmon here is not meant to have any strong flavors, as the kale salad adds enough zip for both components. You could easily serve the salad with some roasted chicken, marinated tofu or with the ever-so-versatile poached egg as well.


The kale salad recipe is adapted from Dr. Weil/True Food Kitchen. Make a little extra if you like leftovers, the kale stands up to the dressing really well, so you can keep it lightly dressed in the fridge and it only gets better. This will likely make more dressing than you need, but better to be prepared.

4 Cups Kale (lacinato or cavolo nero best), rinsed and dried

1/3 Cup Fresh, Whole Grain Breadcrumbs

1/3-1/2 Cup Fresh Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese

Red Pepper Flakes to taste

2 (5 oz.) Pieces Wild/Sustainably Raised Salmon Filets

1 Tbsp. Dried Basil

1 tsp. Garlic Salt

Ground Pepper

1/2 Cup White Wine

// Dressing //

1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice

2 Cloves Garlic

Pinch of Salt/Ground Pepper

1. Remove the ribs from the kale, lay leaves on top of each other, and slices into 1/4'' ribbons. Put them all in a bowl.

2. For the dressing, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic cloves and pinch of salt, pepper and red pepper in a blender/food processor and blend to combine. Taste for spice and lemon to olive oil ratio, I find that this is a personal preference. You can also add a touch of honey to mellow out the tang if need be. Pour desired amount over the kale and toss so the leaves marinate in the dressing while you finish the salmon.

3. Dry both sides of the salmon, and gently rub on the garlic salt, pepper and dried basil. Heat a sauce pan over medium heat with a bit of oil to avoid sticking, add the salmon filets, and allow them to get crispy on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip the filets, sear for a minute, and add the 1/2 cup of wine to the pan. Cover and cook until just cooked through. This will likely take another 5 minutes, but will vary depending on thickness of your filet. Use your judgement and watch the center of the fish. Remove.

4. Add the breadcrumbs, grated parmesan, a bit more dressing and give the salad another toss to combine. Serve each plate with a hefty portion of kale, and a piece of salmon.

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