We’re on our last leg of the kale season and I just couldn’t say goodbye without one last recipe highlighting easily one of the greatest superfoods out there. While the new and vibrant vegetables of spring are something to look forward to, the loss of kale is not. I will miss it sautéed, mixed in with grains, thrown into soup, roasted and crisped into chips, and raw in a salad.
Raw kale may not be your first idea in salad greens, but it might be after you try this Mediterranean version with peppers, olives and almonds. If Mediterranean style isn’t for you, try it with currants, pine nuts and Parmesan in a honey-balsamic vinaigrette or with spiced pecans and roasted sweet potatoes in a maple-soy vinaigrette. The key to a great kale salad is to first massage a little oil and salt into the leaves and let it sit for 20-30 minutes as the leaves are tough and fibrous. This will soften it, creating the perfect base for any salad.
- Kale: Kale contains abundant amounts of soluble fiber, calcium, lutein, iron, and vitamins A, C and K1; optimizing cell detoxification and internal cleansing. It’s also known to contain some of the most potent cancer fighting phytochemicals of all vegetables.
- Almonds: Almonds are high in protein, healthy unsaturated fats, vitamin E, and essential minerals including potassium, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium.
- Sweet Red Peppers: Sweet red peppers are rich in vitamins A, C, and K. Antioxidant rich A and C help to prevent cell damage, cancer, and diseases related to aging; they support the immune system and help to reduce inflammation. They are also a great source of the carotenoid called lycopene, which is emerging as an important anti-cancer property.
- Kalamata olives: Olives are a great source of monounsaturated fat as well as iron, vitamin E, copper, and fiber. High in phytonutrients, they’ve been shown to reduce inflammation and support both heart and gastrointestinal health.
Raw Kale Salad with Sweet Red Peppers and Kalamata Olives
- 2 bunches kale (about 1 pound), center ribs and stems removed, very thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- ½ cup kalamata olives, sliced
- 2 medium sweet red peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place kale in large bowl, pour olive oil, lemon juice and salt over top. Gently massage mixture into kale about 2 to 3 minutes by hand, or until kale starts to wilt. Let rest 20-30 minutes at room temperature, tossing occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients, mix together and serve.
* If you can’t find sweet red peppers, jarred peppadews make a nice substitution.