Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Matt and Jason's Kale Salad


It is no secret that I love anything having to do with kale.  It can be raw or cooked down for hours with salt, pepper and bacon drippings...I don't care!  I just love this super food!

Another love I hold close to my heart is my friends.  I have the amazing blessing to have friends I have had since I was still in a cradle and friends I have only known for a short while though it feels like we have known each other forever.

It is a true gift in life to be surrounded by so much love and I remind myself daily not to take it for granted!

Some of the friends I have recently become close with in the last year are my darling Matt and Jason.  Two of the kindest souls I have ever encountered full of life and love.  These two gentlemen truly know what it means to embrace life with humor and loyalty, to honor themselves and those around them and to make every day matter with a sincerity of devotion.
I truly am blessed to have these two men in my life. 

Their love and support of not just me and my blog but my friends and family as well has truly warmed my heart.  To say I love these guys is a true understatement.

Recently, over dinner and a few glasses (ahem, bottles) of wine it was decided that seeing each other with so much time in between visits was simply unacceptable so we planned for a cook out just days away which was a treat to get on the calendar as it seems getting these peeps together can feel like herding cats at times!

They offered to bring their favorite kale salad which thrilled be beyond belief....any twist on a kale salad I welcome with open arms!

It was simply to die for!  Wonderfully different from the one I make all the time which is perfect because if I can have a kale salad with every meal I will be a happy lady!

Here is their recipe.....

Matt and Jason's Kale Salad

1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries, chopped (or whole golden raisins or currants)
1/3 cup pine nuts (can substitute slivered almonds)
1 pound fresh Lacinato kale (also called Tuscan kale or dinosaur kale), about 2-3 bunches, rinsed and patted dry
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, packed

Heat a small skilled on medium high heat. Spread the pine nuts in an even layer on the bottom of the pan, cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Then remove to a bowl to allow to cool. Hint when toasting nuts: do not take your eyes off of them! Nuts can go from browned to burned very quickly.

Use a sharp knife to cut out the tough midrib of each kale leaf, and discard or compost. Slice the leaves crosswise into thin, 1/4 inch wide, slices. The easiest way to do this is to work with a small bunch of leaves at a time, stack the leaves and roll them into a loose cigar shape. Then using a sharp knife, work from one end of the "cigar" to the other, slicing a 1/4 inch off from the end. Place the kale slices into a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.
 A half hour to an hour before serving, toss the kale together with the toasted pine nuts, the dried cranberries, and the dressing, allowing the kale to marinate a bit. 
  
 Right before serving, stir in the grated Parmesan cheese.
Thank you Matt and Jason for your constant support of my humble Food Gospel and for all the love you exude every time I think of you bright faces!
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