Thursday October 20
Northern Heartland Kitchen
Autumn is the season for cooks and this year couldn't be better. The new crop of sweet potatoes, squash and apples, celeriac, potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, and those hearty cabbages, kale, Brussels sprouts, the vibrant carrots, parsnips, turnips (phew) are promising, earthy and sweet. Stock up, these things keep a while, ready when you are to cook.
Kale is at its best right now, getting sweetest as the frost moves in. No doubt kale is the most nutritious green around -- loaded with anti-oxidents, vitamins, minerals -- it's low cal, hi fiber and dang, it tastes good. It grows any place, every place, a vibrant crop in this hostile climate. Here's a simple recipe for speedy raw kale salad. Make a big batch of it, it tastes better through the week.
Raw Kale Salad (Serves 4)
This will keep several days in the refrigerator, its flavor softening along with the kale leaves, over time.
2 bunches dinosaur or curly kale, stems and veins removed and leaves chopped (about 4 heaping cups)
1 small red onion, chopped
1 large carrot, grated
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey, or more to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil*
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/4 cup toasted, unsalted sunflower seeds or toasted chopped pecans
In a large bowl, toss together the kale, onion and carrot. In a small dish, whisk together the ginger, vinegar and syrup or honey. Whisk in the oil. Toss with the greens to coat thoroughly and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the dried cranberries or raisins and the sunflower seeds.
*For the best flavor, try using a cold-pressed organic sunflower seed oil, such as Smude or Driftless Organic, available in natural food co-ops or online.