Kale Salad with Baked Beets, Walnuts, Sprouts and Creamy Goat’s Cheese

I love kale in all forms and shapes and to my credit I did so even before it became fashionable. It is one of my favorite vegetables to grow during our mild Australian winters, because it is so prolific and doesn’t require a lot of attention. We had so much of it last year, I could have sold it at the market. To me, Cavolo Nero is the king of kale, but I also like the curly, rougher kind. As it’s still summer here, although not according to the calendar, I don’t have any left in my garden, but thankfully others do. So far I have mainly cooked with it, except for the baby leaves which I add to mixed green salads. On a recent stay in Los Angeles however, I discovered marinated kale in a salad at the fabulous small chain restaurant “The Veggie Grill“. I tried it out at home and discovered that if I dress the tough and chewy curly kale with balsamic dressing and let it sit for an hour or longer, it turns into a lovely and not at all tough or chewy salad. I have made it almost every day for nearly 2 weeks now and everybody who was lucky enough to taste some agreed with me. It’s divine and a welcome alternative to the good old green salad. I like to dress it up with roasted beets, toasted nuts and a little creamy fresh goat’s cheese. I also had some mung bean and broccoli sprouts which were a great addition. Give rocket and spinach a little break and try this. It makes the loveliest, most satisfying and super healthy lunch or is delicious as a side dish at the dinner table. Best of all, it doesn’t wilt like most green salads do which makes it perfect for the buffet table.

Serves 4 as a side dish or 1-2 for lunch (depending on your appetite)

Ingredients

for the salad:

  • 1 bunch curly kale (about 6 leaves), stalks removed and leaves torn into pieces
  • 4 small beets, roasted or steamed, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 8 walnut halves, toasted and broken into bits
  • 1-2 oz. creamy goat’s cheese, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • handful of assorted sprouts, rinsed

for the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon good mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh pepper

Method

Put all dressing ingredients into a jar with a lid. Close and shake well. Pour over kale, toss, cover and marinate at room temperature for an hour or for longer in the fridge. When you are ready to serve, add beets, nuts, sprouts and cheese. Enjoy!

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