cookbook spotlight: kale, glorious kale
From the moment I received my copy of this cookbook, I knew it was going to change my perception of kale. And of course it did.
The cookbook is written by Cathy Walthers, and is filled with over 100 recipes using kale. While it may seem like a tough challenge to develop that many recipes using it, Cathy does it with inspired, yet approachable recipes that you'll want to make each and every day. From kale smoothies to cocktails (yes, cocktails!) to main dishes, this cookbook will definitely inspire you to cook more with kale.
Cathy is a personal chef and cooking instructor and has written three previous cookbooks as well. She's also a good friend. I've been lucky enough to sample firsthand how great a chef she is, including the cooking class she taught in our test kitchen to celebrate the release of her cookbook. Not only were the recipes delicious but I walked away with new information about kale, including her technique for "massaging" raw kale, where a tiny bit of olive oil and salt are rubbed into the leaves to tenderize it.
One of the recipes she made for us was the kale, celery, date + apple salad (recipe follows). I've made it countless times throughout the winter and every time, it's a winner. I've also made several other recipes from the cookbook, including her berry kalicious smoothie and my new favorite, the kale pineapple smoothie.
Cathy is a contributor to our new magazine, and I couldn't be happier to have her working with us. She's a great cook and a masterful cocktail maker. Look for her strawberry-rhubarb mojito recipe in our spring issue, along with more seasonal recipes to come.
To learn more about Cathy, her classes and her cookbooks, visit: http://catherinewalthers.com
kale, celery, date + apple salad
This salad works best with tender baby kale, now readily available at farmer’s markets and supermarkets. Fresh, juicy orange slices are a nice alternative when apples aren't in season.
4 cups baby kale, washed and dried, small stems removed
8 pitted, soft dried dates
2 celery stalks
1 crisp red apple (organic if possible, as it won’t be peeled)
1 lemon wedge
1/2 walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup or other sweetener
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Place kale in a wide serving bowl or platter. Cut dates, lengthwise, into thin strips, and place in a separate bowl. Peel celery and cut in half lengthwise. Cut on a diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Add to bowl of dates. Slice sides off apple and cut into thin slices. Squeeze lemon juice over apple slices, to keep them from browning.
2. Make vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, maple syrup, and olive oil. Season with two pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
3. Just before serving, toss kale with 3/4 of vinaigrette. Place celery, dates, apple slices, walnuts, and feta cheese on top of kale and drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.
cook’s note: Some feta cheese has little flavor, surprisingly. But the French sheep’s milk feta is usually flavorful, as is the Greek feta that is a combination of sheep and goat’s milk.
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