A couple of weeks ago I opened my inbox to find an email asking if I would be willing to do a recipe inspired by the upcoming Olympics; a recipe specifically supporting the Canadian Women’s Ski Jumping Team. Women’s ski jumping is making its debut at the Sochi Olympics and Canada is sending three women to represent our country; Atsuko Tanaka, Taylor Henrich and Alexandra Pretorius. Now here’s where things get weird. Not only did I used to ski jump (it wasn’t that serious, I only ever went off ones that were like 2 feet high), I also went to school with Taylor. We played on the same volleyball team and her dad even taught me karate when I was little. How coincidental is that? Out of all of the bloggers they contacted what was the chance that they would pick someone who has both ski jumped and used to know one of the team members going to Sochi? It seemed like fate so I could not say no to testing and sharing one of the recipes; a winter kale salad. If you are so inclined, you can also head over to Lesley Stowe Fine Foods Facebook or Twitter pages to share a personalized good luck message to the team. Lesley Stowe will contribute $1 per message, to a max of $5000, in support of the Canadian Women’s Ski Jumping Team. Good luck gals, let’s bring home some metals for Canada!
Also, I have just a few quick notes on some of the alterations I made to the original recipe for this winter kale salad. First of all, it originally called for black kale but my grocery store rarely carries it so I substituted normal kale. Because of this, I also added the step of massaging the kale to make it a bit more palatable. Essentially you rub the kale with salt to draw out some of the juices and soften it up. Finally, I also replaced the pine nuts with hazelnuts (mainly because I could not justify paying $9 for a miniature bag of pine nuts). That being said, you can really use whatever nuts you want. Almonds, walnuts, cashews – they would all work perfectly fine. Time for some winter kale salad!
Winter Kale Salad
Adapted from Lesley Stowe Fine Foods
1 bunch kale
2-3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, peeled and roughly chopped
grated parmesan cheese, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
De-stem the kale and rip it (just into bite-sized pieces) into a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and massage the kale with your hands for about 5 minutes (as if you were massaging someone’s shoulders). It will let out some of its moisture and soften slightly. Season it with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon zest, black pepper and more salt, to taste and only if necessary. Stir in the currants and a handful of grated parmesan cheese if you desire. Serve garnished with chopped hazelnuts and even more parmesan (if you want it, but then again, who doesn’t want more cheese?).