Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Harvest Kale Salad with Honey-Miso Dressing

I love dark winter greens, kale in particular. It's fabulous in hearty vegetarian stews, sautéed, or used in risotto. My favorite preparation, however, is in a salad. Tossed with a good dressing, it never wilts — in fact, I almost like it more the next day.

Harvest Kale Salad with Honey-Miso Dressing

This recipe was inspired by the number of colorful vegetables you can find in the dead of winter (yes, color does exist in a deep freeze). Rich butternut squash, possibly roasted with garlic and rosemary, tart dried cranberries, and buttery toasted nuts. You could also add caramelized onions, or roasted purple potatoes to the mix. And of course, a dusting of snowy, white cheese, if you're so inclined.

For the salad:
1 bunch dinosaur kale, cut into a fine chiffonade (aka Lacinato or Tuscan kale)
1 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 avocado, cut into small chunks

For the dressing:
1/4 cup white miso, at room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup grape seed oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

For the salad:
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the avocado. Toss well and set aside.

For the dressing:
In a glass jar, combine the miso, honey, and vinegar and mix well. Add the oil and ginger and shake well. (You can also let it sit 24 hours, at least overnight, for the ginger to mellow and infuse.)

Spoon over the kale salad and toss to coat. Let sit for about 30-60 minutes or overnight to allow the leaves to slightly wilt. Add the avocado and serve immediately.

NOTE: If you don't have honey, you can also use maple syrup. No roasted butternut squash? Explore using other roasted root vegetables, like beets, baby potatoes, or carrots. A garnish of goat cheese or blue cheese would also make a nice addition, if you can tolerate dairy.

Servings: 4
Dairy-free, Vegetarian, Gluten-free

No comments: