Raw Kale and Radish Salad

Monday, December 5, 2011

This salad was a complete spur-of-the-moment. I went to Whole Foods and ended up coming out with things entirely different from what I had in mind, which sometimes happens to me (I get easily distracted by interesting ingredients, especially when I'm hungry). As I veered towards the fruit and vegetable section, I was intrigued by the dinosaur kale.

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I was also attracted by the daikon and red radishes, the latter always my favorite, which looked freshly picked. And I'm always a sucker for the smell of fresh parsley (it reminds me of my grandmother's vegetable garden). Because the kale and roots looked so beautiful, I wanted to preserve their freshness and use them raw. This can be tricky with things like kale (which can be quite chewy, grassy and sometimes bitter), and radishes (which can be quite sharp). But always a lover of interesting flavor combinations, I decided to make a salad using these ingredients. I used lemon juice and olive oil as a dressing, together with salt and pepper, with just a small sprinkle of sugar, to help tenderize the kale a bit.

It worked out well. Though this salad, using two different radish types plus kale, demands quite a bit of mastication, it presents an interesting combination of flavors and texture. The young cherry tomatoes, which I added for color contrast, serve as a sweet and welcome treat from the other ingredients. The salad is also quite filling and can make a wonderful lunch.

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Raw Kale and Radish Salad
(Serves 4-6)

You will need:
2 cups dinosaur kale, sliced into edible pieces
1 medium daikon radish, top and root whisker removed, sliced into rounds
4-5 red radishes, tops and root whiskers removed, sliced into rounds
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp sugar

Directions:
In a large salad bowl, combine kale, daikon and red radishes, and tomatoes. In a small bowl or measuring cup whisk lemon juice, olive oil, chopped parsley, salt, pepper and sugar. Pour the salad dressing over the salad. Toss and serve.

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