Farmers Market Recipe: Fresh Kale & Summer Peach Salad with Toasted Almonds & Balsamic Vinaigrette

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

“I don’t normally like kale, but this salad is delicious!” is a comment I hear over and over when I serve this dish. Last year around this time, I was volunteering at an Anacostia Farmers Market. At the time, there was only one produce farmer at the market and all he had the day I was coming was peaches, kale and potatoes! My job at the Farmers Markets is to inspire people to buy the locally grown produce available that day, but what the heck was I going to do with kale, peaches and potatoes? I was stumped! Then I leafed through my own book, Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations, and got inspired by one of Chef Carla Hall’s contributions to my book, her “Hearty Greens Salad with Warm Balsamic Cherry Vinaigrette.” Aha! I can do a variation on the theme, I thought, use peaches, add some crunch with toasted almonds and VOILA! It was a HUGE HIT at the Anacostia Farmers Market. So I’ve included this wonderful recipe in my new book:  Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes (Bookbaby 2013)

Today is the 5th “Katherine’s Market Recipe” of 2013, all of which are designed to be delicious, easy, quick, famiy-friendly, nutritious (heart-healthy & diabetes-friendly), and to highlight produce found at our local farmers markets this week. At your farmers market, you’ll find produce picked at peak ripeness, which means maximum flavor, texture, and nutrition. You’re also helping save the environment when you buy at your farmers market. Here’s how…

 Serves 6

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

 Salad Ingredients:
6 Handfuls of fresh Kale (or other greens), washed, tough stems removed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
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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Eggs Scrambled with Onion, Garlic, Kale and Sweet Cherry Tomatoes

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

This is a regular meal for me any time of the day – quick, easy, delicious, nutritious!

Servings: 1

Saute 1/4 sweet onion and a smashed garlic clove over medium high heat in 1 teaspoon canola or olive oil until almost soft. Add a handful of chopped kale and tomatoes to the pan (or any other vegetables you happen to have such as chopped spinach, kale, mushrooms, or peppers) and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn down heat to very low. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 eggs. Pour eggs into the pan containing the onion, garlic and tomato – add 1 ounce low fat cheese, if you wish. Stir continuously until eggs are cooked. Pour over toasted whole rye bread.

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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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.

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

Photo by Polly Weidmaier

Carla Hall’s Hearty Greens Salad with Warm Balsamic Cherry Vinaigrette
Excerpted from “Diet Simple”

8 servings

6 c (1 pound) Mixed Hearty Greens (Kale, Rape, Collards, and/or Mustard), washed well, stems removed, rolled and cut thinly (chiffonade)
4 T Canola Oil
2 T Balsamic Vinegar
1 T Dijon Mustard
2 t Honey
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ c Cherries, pitted and halved
¼ Red Onion, sliced thinly

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.

2. While the oil is heating, combine the balsamic, mustard and honey in a small bowl. Just before the oil starts to smoke, add the balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Let the mixture come to a boil, and continue to stir.

3. If it is too thick or too strong with vinegar, add a dash of water. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Add the cherries to the mixture. Toss the greens with just enough vinaigrette to wilt the greens, then drizzle additional vinaigrette around the plate. Garnish the salad with rings of red onion.

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!).

Carla Hall, Top Chef finalist, is the owner and chef of Alchemy Caterers, a catering and private chef company in Washington, D.C. She teaches cooking classes at Culinaerie, as well as team building classes at different venues in the metropolitan area.

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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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