Summer Peach and Fresh Kale Salad with Toasted Almonds and a Balsamic Vinaigrette


One reason I look forward to peach season is being able to make this recipe. This year, the peaches are abundant, sweet, juicy, and dense. Take advantage and find ways to include them in your recipes and meals, even if it’s just biting into a whole one and letting the juice roll down your arms. This salad is always a hit, perhaps because we’re naturally drawn to its variety of flavors, textures, colors, and shapes. Variety is the most significant reason we choose something to eat!

Salad With Summer Peaches, Fresh Kale, Toasted Almonds and a Balsamic Vinaigrette

6 Servings

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

6 Handfuls of fresh Kale (or other greens), washed, tough stems removed, and torn into bite-sized pieces, or ribbons
2 Cups Fresh Sliced Summer Peaches and/or any seasonal Berries
2 Ounces toasted slivered Almonds
½ Sweet Onion, peeled and sliced

In a large bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk together. Add the kale, onion, almonds, and peaches and toss together. Serve immediately.

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Kale! Kale! Everywhere!

Leafy greens are everywhere this time of year! (photo by wikipedia.org)

Leafy greens are everywhere this time of year! (photo by wikipedia.org)

Kale and Spinach Gratin with Garlic, Rosemary, and Thyme
(excerpted from Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes)

Serves 6

1 pound Kale, cleaned and stems removed
2 pounds Spinach, cleaned and stems removed
1 Tablespoon Olive or Canola Oil
1 Large Garlic Clove, minced
2 teaspoons fresh Rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp dry)
1 teaspoon fresh Thyme leaves, chopped (or ½ tsp dry)
1 recipe Olive Oil Bechamel Sauce (see recipe)
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
¼ Cup Parmesan or Gruyere Cheese, freshly grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash the Kale and Spinach and remove the tough stems. Chop roughly. Heat the oil in a large iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until it just begins to color. Add the greens, the rosemary, and thyme to the pan, and let cook a couple of more minutes while stirring until the greens are wilted.

Stir the Bechamel sauce into the greens. Add salt and pepper. Pour into an oiled 2-quart soufflé or heat resistant glass dish and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top is just beginning to brown. 

Olive Oil Bechamel Sauce

This is a classic French white sauce, but using healthy olive oil instead of butter.

Makes 2.5 cups

3 Cups 1% Milk
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Flour
Salt and Ground Pepper to taste
Pinch of grated nutmeg (optional)

Simmer the milk in a saucepan on medium-low heat. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add a bit of flour, and when it sizzles, add the rest. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk over medium heat. Do not brown. Whisk in the hot milk. Return the mixture to the heat, stirring until the sauce thickens. Reduce to low making sure it does not burn. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Deep Green Leafy Vegetables have the highest antioxidant content of all vegetables. High in fiber, they are rich in minerals, B-vitamins, beta-carotene, and lutein, a compound which may help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of preventable blindness) and other eye diseases such as cataracts. Absorption of carotenoids, such as lutein, in your body is increased by cooking and by the presence of fat (so cook in a little healthy olive or canola oil!).

 

Roberto Donna’s White Beans, Kale and Shrimp Salad with Basil Dressing

Roberto Donna’s White Beans, Kale and Shrimp Salad with Basil Dressing

excerpted from “Diet Simple”

4 servings

8 oz. Dry Cannellini Beans (or 24 ounces canned, rinsed)
1/2 bunch Kale, cleaned, tough stems removed, chopped
1/ 2 Peeled Onion
1 Celery Stalk
4 Fresh Sage Leaves
1/2 Medium Carrot
8 oz. Shrimp (optional, if using shrimp)
2 Cups White Wine (for cooking the shrimp, if using shrimp)
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
10 Fresh Basil Leaves
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Optional step if starting with dried beans: Soak the cannellini beans in water for 12 hours; drain and place in a pot of water, add salt and pepper; cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Optional step if using dried beans: Chop and add the onion, celery and carrot, cooking another ten minutes. Add the finely diced sage to the pot and drain the cooking liquid. Place in a cool location.

If using canned beans: Rinse the beans in a strainer, add to a large bowl. Chop all of the vegetables and the fresh sage leaves and add to the beans. Toss beans, vegetables and sage together.

If using shrimp: Wash and clean the shrimp and poach for three minutes, or until done, in the White Wine.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Dressing: Finely chop basil and add the balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil. Whisk until emulsified.

Presentation: Place a large, clean Kale leaf and  1/4 of the mixture on each plate. Top with 2 oz. of the shrimp and a drizzle of the basil dressing.

As a James Bread Award winning Chef and Restaurateur in Washington, DC, Roberto Donna is committed to introducing others to the real flavors of Italy, which he provides in his seven restaurants. Born in Torino, the Piedmont Region of Italy, Roberto Donna’s fervent mission is the promotion of his authentic Italian cuisine.

Kale Recipe Quest: Making this “Superfood” Delicious!

Janis McLean's Kale Quesadilla with Chipoltle Salsa

Kale: does it evoke rapture? Anticipation? I fear you may be scrunching your face at the mention of kale. I completely understand! I’m constantly looking for ways of making kale and other deep green leafy vegetables delicious, and regularly surprised at how easy it actually is. If you can let go of any skepticism and trust me on this, I think you will be very pleased, too…

Do you have kale recipes you’d like to share? In my “Kale Recipe Quest,” here are some of my favorites. I’d love to know what you think…

Carla Hall’s Hearty Greens Salad with Warm Balsamic Cherry Vinaigrette

Roberto Donna’s White Beans, Kale and Shrimp Salad with Basil Dressing

Janis McLean’s Kale Quesadillas with Chipoltle Salsa

Eggs Scrambled with Onions, Garlic, Kale and Sweet Cherry Tomatoes

Deep Green Leafy Vegetables have the highest antioxidant content of all vegetables. High in fiber, they are rich in minerals, B-vitamins, beta-carotene, and lutein, a compound which may help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of preventable blindness). Absorption of carotenoids, such as lutein, in your body is increased by cooking and by the presence of fat (so cook in a little healthy olive or canola oil!)

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