Spring is here in Seattle, and for me, that means eating as many things as we can possibly put on the grill. But what do you do about sides? Grilled corn on the cob is wonderful, as are grilled or roasted vegetables, and you can always go for the cool, refreshing green salad or coleslaw. But lately, I've been trying to get as much kale in my face as possible.
In the past, I have used kale in the Irish dish colcannon, or simply steamed it or braised it like collard greens. But Tom and I were recently at a friend's house, and she used this leafy green raw, chiffonaded, in a vinegar based slaw of sorts. It was wonderful, and very summery, so I decided to try my hand at my own version. I also get easily attached to new food, and want to eat it as often as possible until I get burned out, so I made quite a bit of this this evening. You can alter the recipe to suit your own needs and mouths to feed, but this was what I made this evening for dinner and lunches at work to come:
I head kale, spined, and chiffonaded
1/2 small head red cabbage, sliced thinly as slaw
1 red bell pepper, matchsticked
2 large carrots - cut in 4 sections, cut those in half, and matchstick
1 bag Craisins - I love dried cranberries, but you could use gold raisins, or simply add a little sugar to the dressing.
A good half cup or so of sunflower seeds
rice vinegar (or your favorite, but I find rice vinegar to be the most crisp)
A good, seedy brown mustard with the seeds left whole. I used Maille Old Style Dijon
Cut all vegetables as instructed above and add to big bowl (leave yourself room to toss in dressing). Combine dressing ingredients. I eyeballed mine, as I am wont to do, and probably wound up with about a cup and a half of dressing, give or take. Combine all ingredients and let sit for at least 30 minutes so everything can get nice and married, and enjoy with your favorite grilled meat. Great alone as well. Kale is so substantial, it makes a great meal on its own. You can also change up ingredients and mix flavors in your dressing. I made this last week with pinto beans and a cumin-based Southwest style mustard dressing that was just great. Give it a shot, and be creative!