Good salads have been strangely absent from my life lately. Perhaps I overdid it this summer, or just got into an uninspired salad rut. Nevertheless, they’re making a happy (and much-needed) comeback in my life. I’ll be making this one for the next few weeks – it’s a keeper.
- 1 bunch green curly or lacinato kale
- 3 large carrots, peeled into strips or “ribbons”
- A good handful of Beldi (or other oil-cured black olives), rinsed in several changes of water
- A good handful of Castelvetrano green olives
- 2 fennel bulbs, sliced finely
- Dried oregano to sprinkle on top
- Stem the kale by folding the bunch in half lengthwise, and rip the leafy goodness off of the stem. Tear all the pieces with your hands into bite-size pieces and rinse in a salad spinner. Put all the clean kale into a large bowl, and keep all the other ingredients separate until the dressing is ready. I like to massage the dressing into the kale only, about an hour before serving to help make it tender, before adding the other ingredients. So, for time management, you can now skip to the next section to make the dressing, then come back here for steps 2-5. 🙂
- Welcome back to the salad! Peel the carrots. Once the outer layer has been peeled off, continue peeling to make carrot ribbons for the salad.
- After rinsing the black olives in water several times, pit them by slicing with a paring knife. Do the same with the Castelvetrano olives.
- Finely slice the fennel.
- Since the kale has already been dressed, you can now add the veggies and mix with your hands to make sure they get enough dressing too. Serve with a little extra dried oregano on top (optional). If you are having this for several days, a little bit of fresh lemon juice helps freshen it up.
Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette
All of the dressing will be used for this salad, so feel free to double/triple etc if you want to have leftover dressing.
Preserved lemons are typically Meyer, or other small, thin-skinned lemons, preserved in salt and water. They become very tender, making the rind edible and delicious, and it adds a really nice kick to this dressing. You can find preserved lemons in specialty or natural food stores, or you can make them, but I’m not totally there yet.
If you don’t have the preserved lemon, don’t substitute with chopped fresh lemon rind, but perhaps add a bit of lemon zest instead. I’d probably only add about a teaspoon or so of fresh lemon zest if you’re using that instead of preserved lemon, and then keep the rest of the recipe the same.
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped preserved lemon rind (rind rinsed to remove salt, using pulp is optional)
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of half a fresh lemon
- Sea salt & pepper
- Good pinch of dried oregano
Blend all ingredients together well, taste and correct seasoning if necessary.
With the help of my friend Merri, we made an “ode to lemons” meal. This salad, a Greek avgolemono soup (chicken/lemon broth, traditionally with orzo or rice, but quinoa in ours), cod piccata with farro, and Meyer lemon tarts. I’m still working on the piccata recipe, but will put the avgolemono and lemon tarts up soon. Stayed tuned my friends!