Distance makes the heart grow fonder… If that’s the case, I bet you’re very fond of me. I got lost somewhere between the holidays, a baby with a bug, and plain old life the past month or so. It’s not to say I don’t make time to cook, because I’m probably doing more of that than ever; just not finding those precious hours I used to put my blog posts together.
Instead, every spare minute I have is spent corralling my little man, who, by practical standards, lives in a relatively safe home and still manages to find danger at every turn. He turned nine months a few days ago and every day is an adventure. He started cruising along soon after seven months and hasn’t slowed down since.
On the baby food front, we’re also gradually moving past silky vanilla fruit and veggie purees to introducing more fun things like homemade chicken soup with pastina, cinnamon roasted apple and prune mash, turkey-veggie meatballs, and – his favorite – zucchini with garlic and basil. While he can eat some of the things we nosh on, he’s still at the in between stage where not everything works with his digestive system and I’m somewhat of a short order cook around our house. The truth is, I really don’t mind. Second to none, he lusts for food like no child I’ve seen before; eyes bulging, gummy mouth gaped open, and feet kicking his tray as I’m in the kitchen putting together his meal. A boy after my own heart. It makes all of the “short order cooking” I do for my toothless wonder so absolutely rewarding.
Today, I’d like to share a seasonal salad I’ve been eating nearly every day either as a small side with my dinner or for a light lunch. It is so simple to the point that I almost felt silly blogging such a no-nonsense recipe. I then realized if it has become such a regular and enjoyable part of my diet that I’d be remiss not to mention it on KarmaCucina. So, here it goes – are you ready?
Gather some hardy kale leaves, chop, dress with a simple lemon vinaigrette, and garnish with luxurious shavings of Pecorino Romano cheese. Easy does it and does it well for this recipe. The ever so slight bitter and strong tasting kale contrasts extraordinarily well with the sharp Pecorino cheese and tart lemony vinaigrette. There are a number of varieties of kale – from long and bumpy emerald leaves to curly purple ones – and you really can’t go wrong with whatever you choose. I used Lacinato kale because that rich green color makes me feel healthier just looking at it – I know, crazy, right? I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we do…
P.S. If you want to get really lazy, you can skip the shallot-mincing and vinaigrette emulsification steps and dress the salad simply with lemon, oil, salt, and pepper. I’ve been known to do this when I’m in a baby-chasing bind.
lemon + kale salad
Serves 2 (entree sized salads)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
1 large bunch of Lacinato kale (about 1-lb.)
Pecorino Romano cheese
Coarse sea salt
Whisk or puree the first five ingredients until emulsified. Set aside.
Use a sharp knife to run along both sides of the tough middle rib of the kale; remove leaves, and discard rib. Roughly chop leaves and transfer to a bowl. Pour in the lemon vinaigrette and toss to coat. Let salad sit for 5 – 10 minutes to soften up the leaves a bit. Plate salad and use a vegetable peeler to shave desired amount of cheese on each serving. Season to taste with additional coarse sea salt and pepper and serve immediately.