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Green up Your Spring with a Healthy Dose of Kale

May 27, 2014

Main Image

Cooking Time:

0

Yields:

4 servings

Body

Years ago, when I wrote The 150 M Healthiest Foods on Earth, I said this about kale: "Kale is definitely a superstar vegetable, even though most people don't know what it is." But since then, kale has exploded in popularity.

And with good reason. Kale has one of the highest antioxidant rankings of any vegetable, but because it's a cabbage, it has even more benefits. Like all members of the brassica family, kale contains powerful phytochemicals such as indoles, plant compounds that have been found to have a protective effect against breast, cervical, and colon cancers. Kale is also packed with sulfur and sulforaphane, which give the body's detoxification enzymes a boost and may help fight cancer, as well. And as if that weren't enough, the über-popular veggie boasts plenty of vitamins A. C, and K, too.

In this terrific Mediterraneaninspired salad. Chef Jeannette swaps out standard greens for fresh kale. The rest of this salad hits all the high spots of the famous Mediterranean diet: garlic, onions, olives, feta cheese, and vegetables. What's not to like?

Originally seen in Better Nutrition.

Ingredients

4 cups (about 2 bunches) stemmed and shredded lacinato kale (also called dinosaur kale)

Juice of 1 lemon, divided

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

5 tbsp olive oil

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 large red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 cup grape tomatoes

2 cups pitted Kalamata olives

2 cups feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

1. Place kale into medium bowl, and drizzle with 2 tsp. lemon juice and a very light sprinkle of salt. Firmly and thoroughly massage kale with hands, at least 2 minutes, to soften and break up tough fibers. Set aside.

2. In small bowl, whisk together remaining lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in thin stream of olive oil until just emulsified. Set aside.

3. Place kale in large salad bowl, and top with onions, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives. Scatter feta evenly over salad, and drizzle with dressing.