Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Recently there were fears of a kale shortage.  Seriously, ten years ago who ever thought we'd be worrying about a kale shortage?  But it's suddenly so popular and a major seed distributor ran out of seeds and now everyone is clutching their kale to their panicked hearts (for fun you must read this post-apocalyptic kale shortage story from the New Yorker). 

I struggle a little with kale.  I don't like it cooked.  I don't like it juiced.  I've only prevailed with it thus far because everyone with a health-bee in their bonnet says I should.  I've grown to enjoy the odd kale salad though, depending on what you mix that tough old green stuff with.  My kale salad depends heavily on what's in the fridge but it always has one compulsory component - dates.  Dates make everything tasty.  Would I enjoy a kale salad without dates?  Maybe not, but I'll keep throwing them in there and feeling virtuous about my kale-eating proclivities.  Until it becomes too expensive to buy at the farmers' market and then I'll just go back to good old cos lettuce.  

Sweet and Savory Kale Salad 
Serves 1

A small sweet potato (about 150-200 g), half and sliced
A few handfuls of fresh kale, about 4-5 stalks, roughly chopped
4 dates, roughly chopped
Half an apple, roughly chopped
A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
A handful of sugar snap peas, roughly chopped
2 tbsp of slivered almonds
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp agave or honey

Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F.  Toss the sweet potato in a little olive oil and season with salt.  Place on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.  Toss sweet potato again and then bake for a further 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  
Toss the sweet potato, kale, dates, apple, tomatoes and sugar snap peas together in a bowl or on a serving plate.  Top with slivered almonds.  
For the dressing, mix together the oil, vinegar, mustard and agave.  Drizzle over the salad and toss to serve.  

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