We are officially into the season of cozy stews, squash-coated pasta, and pretzel buns. This time of year, my cravings lead me even deeper into the realm of carbs and while I have no qualms with such a fate, it is important that I have a complimentary, vitamin-packed side dish near at hand to balance the scales.
We begin with kale.
Now, kale can be seen as a sturdy green that is wonderfully rich in vitamins, crunchy, and downright hearty. Or, you could think of it as leaves that take forever to chew and are only eaten upon threat of torture. I will let you guess which of these best describes Mr. Pedantic’s view.
I personally love kale for more than its nutritional benefits. If dressed properly, all of those sharp edges soften into a salad that maintains crunch, is surprisingly filling, and is the perfect landscape for a scene of bright lemon, spicy garlic, and a pile of parmesan.
This dressing is a riff off of my aunt’s salad dressing which magically transforms salad greens into candy. Candy for garlic-lovers, if you will.
During the fall, most of my salads lean towards apple-heavy, caramelized nut-topped, and balsamic-dressed little numbers that are delicious, but do not always pair very well with say, butternut carbonara. This salad, however, is full-on savory, incredibly versatile, and can even sit for a while before being served as the kale holds up so well.
I am not a leftover salad person…ever…but I ate the leftovers of this salad the following day and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Plus, most of the ingredients are already in your fridge and pantry!
Not only does this salad take some of the guilt out of my carb-themed menu for the week, it is also a side dish that almost steals the show.
Who knew that a salad could be so addicting?
Every Occasion Kale Salad with Spicy Garlic & Lemon Vinaigrette
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
5 heaping cups kale, stems removed
freshly ground black pepper
Use a microplane or mini grater to grate each clove of garlic, forming a paste.
Add the garlic paste to a small jar along with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt. Fit the jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until the dressing is well combined.
Place the kale into a serving bowl and drizzle the dressing over the greens. Toss until the kale is evenly coated and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
Cover the greens with parmesan and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
Toss and serve immediately.