Maui Girl Cooks

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” Luciano Pavarotti

Kale Salad of Many Delicious Bites

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I cannot tell you how many days weeks I have hopped out of bed thinking that I would be writing a new blog post that day.  Truth be told, I rarely “hop” out of bed, but rather leisurely climb out from my night’s comfort.  It’s been a little harder to get up recently because it’s been a tad chilly in the morning here in Maui.  I’m not expecting any sympathy from my Mainland friends or family, who have experienced temperatures down in the 20’s, before winter has even thought about making an appearance.  But remember that when there is no heater in your house, it’s cold when it hits the mid-low 60’s.  Of course, the sun is warm and the house warms up quickly, so enough whimpering about chilly tropical island weather.  

If the proverbial genie were to arrive on the scene, wafting out of the bottle say, right now, my first wish would definitely be for more time {I also need more thyme; better plan a trip to the garden store for another plant or 2.} and to be more efficient with the time I have.  Honestly, I do not know where the days go, but I do know that I need more hours in every one of them.   Having nothing to do is never a problem for me! 

This kale salad is one I just came up with and we think it’s delicious.  There are quite a few ingredients, but they are not out of the ordinary, so you may have most in your refrigerator at the moment.  There are a few unique ingredients that you will probably have to make or buy, but it’s worth it.  One of the ingredients is pickled celery, and it’s very tasty.  I made pickled celery as a part of this egg salad recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  The egg salad was very good, but I like mine better.  I don’t make egg salad very often, but the next time I do, I’ll be adding some pickled celery.  The reason I like my egg salad better is because the flavors are sharper with mustard and vinegar, so the pickled celery will just add another bit of tartness, which I love.  But I digress.  Here is my newest iteration of kale salad.  Feel free to adjust amounts to suit your taste or what you have on hand.  This salad has a variety of tastes & textures that make it a winner.  The kale plays nicely with the sweetness from the potatoes, prunes and tomatoes.  Throw in a little tart from the pickled celery and fermented vegetables, and some creamy goat cheese that mingles with the dressing and you have one tasty salad.  

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Kale Salad of Many Delicious Bites

Kale, washed thoroughly, dried and torn into bite size pieces

Canned tuna {we use tuna packed in olive oil}, drained

Green onions, 2,  thinly sliced

Steamed potato {white or yams are great}, cut into bite size chunks, about 12

Sun dried tomatoes, about 12, cut into bite size pieces

Prunes {aka dried plums}, 4, cut into bite size pieces

Pumpkin seeds toasted in coconut oil & fine sea salt

Pickled celery, about 2 tablespoons drained

Soft goat cheese, crumbled

Blenheim apricot white balsamic vinegar

Extra virgin olive oil

Fermented vegetables, optional, but highly recommended

Put a bed of kale on a dinner plate and add other ingredients in the order listed.  Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with apricot white balsamic and extra virgin olive oil.

Notes:

  • Salads are a great place to use leftover steamed or roasted potatoes.
  • The yams shown here were cut in large chunks, tossed with melted coconut oil and seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper.  They were then drizzled with some delicious Maui honey and roasted at 375 degrees.
  • We buy the sun dried tomatoes in olive oil at Costco.  I have never been a fan of the herbs in these tomatoes, because they taste too strong to me.  I recently discovered a way to prep these tomatoes which I think makes them taste better.  I put however many tomatoes I think I’ll use over the course of the week in a bowl, then cover them with boiling water.  Let them stand for 5” or so, and then drain them on a paper towel.  Blot them to get most of the moisture off & store them in a jar or other covered container.
  • Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:  Melt a couple teaspoons of coconut oil in a small skillet.  When the oil is hot, add about a 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds. Toss to coat & cook until the seeds begin to brown & pop, being careful not to let them burn.  Season with fine sea salt {I used Pink Himalayan Salt}.  You can use sunflower seeds if you prefer.  
  • Swap out the prunes with dried tart cherries or apricots if desired.
  • I bought the Blenheim apricot white balsamic from the Lively Olive, a wonderful little shop in Port Townsend, WA.  It was my first experience in an olive oil/balsamic vinegar tasting bar, & I loved it.  If you don’t have access to apricot balsamic, any fruity vinegar or red wine vinegar would be great.
  • Pickled Celery {from Smitten Kitchen}:
    • 2 stalks celery, small dice
    • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
    • Combine vinegar, water, salt & sugar and shake to combine.  Pickle celery for at least 30″ and up to one hour.  Stores in the refrigerator for a few weeks, for your eating pleasure.

Bon appetit! 

 

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