Warm Kale Salad with Shallots and Apples
- 3 shallots, sliced medium-thick
- 3 Tbsps + 2 Tbsps olive oil
- 2 Tbsps dried currants
- 2 Tbsps red wine vinegar
- 2 tsps dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 small apples, cored and sliced
- 3 celery ribs, sliced
- 1 small bundle kale (approximately 8 small leaves), stalks removed and ripped into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 c. walnuts, roasted
DirectionsHeat oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Place shallot slices on large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Place in oven for 7 minutes. Remove and flip. Place back in oven for 5-7 minutes. Remove and add celery and apples, mixing to coat all with oil. Place back in oven for 5 minutes. Sprinkle kale over other fruit/vegetables, place back in oven for 3-8 minutes or until kale has softened, but not turned crispy. Mix together currants, vinegar, syrup, mustard, 2 tablespoons of oil and salt. Remove fruit/vegetables from sheet to serving dish. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with walnuts. Serve.
And now for the details…
Back for day two of the 14-day-quarantine-recipe-posting-challenge.
Today’s recipe is a warm kale salad. This is a great recipe to throw together when you don’t want to have to spend a whole lot of time thinking about what you are putting together or spend time babysitting a recipe. Yes, there are many removals and adds back into the oven, but as long as you have cut and prepared everything in advance, you can move pretty quickly through each step and use the time in between to either prepare the other elements of your menu, or sip some wine. Or both? Wine not.
If you are normally not a fan of kale, this may be a good recipe to try. Fresh kale definitely has a bite to it that a lot of people find unappealing. To be honest, I really enjoy it, but my tastes in food might be questionable; I’m the one who hates pancakes and French toast, remember? Because we cook the kale for a short time in this recipe, it will soften the kale, as well as cut down the bitterness a little bit. If you have not enjoyed fresh kale salad recipes in the past, give this a try, you might be pleasantly surprised. But if this still is not the recipe for you, I can entirely understand. Kale isn’t for everyone.
For this recipe, I got a chance to use purple, or Redbor, kale. It is what was provided to me by that incredibly generous friend I mentioned in the last post who dropped off a slew of fresh produce for me to use! I viewed this as a sort of Mystery Box cooking challenge, where the ingredients she provided were my “basket”, and now I am finding recipes to use these ingredients for the rest of the week! If you can’t find Redbor kale, fret not. Green, curly kale or dinosaur kale will work just as well.
Let’s get to cooking.
Start out by heating the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. While the oven is heating, slice the shallots fairly thick, maybe ~5mm (3/8″). We want them fairly thick, because we will be turning them over halfway through, and thinly sliced shallots are just going to flop apart when you try to turn them over. Lay them flat on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and then drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, flipping or lifting the pieces if you need, to ensure they are well coated with the oil. Once the oven has heated up, place the sheet in oven and cook for 7 minutes.
While the shallots are cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients. I usually start by putting the currants into the vinegar and syrup, since I like to give them a bit of soak time to soften and absorb the liquid.
Next, wash and slice the celery, and set aside.
Wash and core the apples, then slice them into fairly thin slices, no more than 5mm thick.
When the shallots are done with the first 7 minutes, remove the sheet from the oven, and turn the shallots over to the other side. I find two forks seems to work best to do this. If the shallots fall apart while you do this, don’t worry too much, try to flip the majority as well as you can, then return them to the oven for another 5-7 minutes, or until they have caramelized.
Once done, remove the sheet again, and add the celery and apples, stirring everything together to coat all pieces with the excess olive oil. Place the sheet back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
Finally, place the kale above the other ingredients on the sheet and put back into the oven a final time for 3-8 minutes (will vary greatly on whether you have a convection oven or not). We want to cook them just until the kale has softened, but has not all turn dried and crispy. A few crispy edges are okay, and I find add to the texture of the salad, but I made the mistake when I moved to our new house with the convection oven of cooking for 5 minutes, and all the kale had turned essentially into kale chips… not what I was going for…
Finally, using a fork, whisk the mustard, salt and olive oil in with the currant, syrup and vinegar, and get ready to plate your salad.
Remove the veggies and fruits from the sheet to your serving dish. I usually like to remove the kale first and lay it as the base, then scoop the rest of the items on top. Drizzle with the currant vinaigrette, spooning any leftover currants onto the salad, and then top with the toasted walnuts, crumbling slightly.
I felt as though this salad could have used a cheese element of some kind, maybe some goat’s cheese or bleu cheese. But, well, quarantine. Feel free to add either of those if you want a salty, creamy element added to the salad.
Finally, serve and enjoy.