So, what is a salad recipe doing on a BBQ blog? When I was growing up, vegetables were always on the table in the summer… fried squash, fried okra, iceberg lettuce with green goddess dressing. Those foods remain some of my favorites, although I don’t think you can beat a slice of homegrown tomato with salt and pepper in the summer. As someone who not very long ago drove a loved one to the hospital during a “heart incident,” let me tell you that I am glad I have developed a taste for a broad range of veggies. With the thought that you prepare best the things you love to eat, I am kind of known for my salads. (FYI that if you are also a veg-lover, check out one of my favorite food blogs: Dana Treat.)
So, last week I teased you with a picture of an awesome salad I served with smoked pork shoulder.
I have been pondering kale for a while but it just sounded more like something I weed out of my yard than something that should be in my salad bowl. That said, I bought some packaged baby kale and decided to be brave. And I found a great recipe to riff off for my kale salad…
Raw Baby Kale Salad with Apples, Pecans, and Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette
Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen
(Makes 2 side servings)
1 oz. mixed baby kale leaves (I used Earthbound Farm’s Baby Kale Mix)
2 oz. spring mix & spinach (I used Earthbound Farm’s Half & Half)
1 small to medium apple (I used a Pink Lady)
2 tbsp. roasted pecans
1 tsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. agave nectar (or sugar)
1 tsp. quality vinegar* (such as white balsamic)
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Mix together the vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and sweetener (or sugar), and then whisk in the olive oil to make the dressing. Core the apple, cut into slices, and cut each slice into chunks. Put apple pieces in a small bowl and toss with about half the dressing, making sure each piece of the apple is coated with dressing. Put in the greens and pecans and toss. Serve with fresh ground pepper to taste.
*A note on vinegar: I spent many years standing in the aisle of my grocery store wondering who the heck pays top dollar for vinegar. Then I found a cute little shop called Oil & Vinegar, and I realized this was another instance of “invest in the ingredients that will make a big difference.” Their lavender vinegar made me a believer.
Okay, you carnivores (assuming you made it to the end of this post on sissy salads): I have some ribs coming your way tomorrow. Get ready!