Kale salad with toasted hazelnuts
Grönkålssallad med rostade hasselnötter
Although my mother was a good cook I have bad memories of salads with cold meat in winter! Essentially, they were the same as summer salads, but with limp imported lettuce and tasteless soft tomatoes. Winter salads in Sweden came as a revelation! Vegetables, often raw, were used to create lovely salads full of flavour and there was no limp lettuce in sight!
If you visit Sweden in the autumn or winter do try and go to a good Swedish restaurant at lunchtime, as they will always have some interesting salads on offer which are normally included in the price of the main course, along with bread, water and coffee.
Above left: massaged kale
Kale can be blanched to use in a salad, but I think it is much better to massage it instead. Simply massage it between your fingers for a few minutes and you will gradually break down the tough cellulose structure. You will notice it happening as the kale will go a darker shade of green and will shrink a bit. If you taste it, you will find it is no longer bitter. John Duxbury
• Use the recipe below as a starting point, adapting it to what is seasonal and readily available. For instance, add some blanched stem broccoli and apple instead of the raisins and cheese.
• If you can't find Västerbottensost, use Parmesan or Pecorino cheese instead.
• Massaged kale also goes well with dried cranberries and roasted cashew nuts. For 200 g (8 cups) of kale, roast 60 g (4 tbsp) of cashew nuts for 10-15 minutes and add to kale with 60 g (4 tbsp) of dried cranberries.
• For a little more colour, use pomegrante kernels.
• Other dressings can be used if you prefer, such as rapeseed oil, apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey, perhaps replacing the hazelnuts with walnuts.
|40 g||(3 tbsp)||blanched hazelnuts|
|200 g||(8 cups)||kale leaves|
|2 tbsp||fresh lemon juice|
|3 tbsp||good quality olive oil|
|salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|100 g||(½ cup)||raisins (or black grapes, halved)|
|40 g||(1¾ oz)||Västerbottensost|
1. Pre-heat an oven to 180°C (350°F, gas 4, fan 160°C).
2. Spread the whole hazelnuts, in a single layer, evenly over a baking tray. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the hazelnuts are a nice golden brown colour.
3. Meanwhile, discard the stems of the kale, chop or tear the leaves and place in a large bowl.
4. Add the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Massage the leaves with your fingers for 3-5 minutes, until they are tenderised. Taste to check that they are no longer bitter.
5. Add the raisins, toss thoroughly and transfer to a serving dish.
6. Roughly crush the toasted hazelnuts and add to the salad.
7. Shave the cheese and add to the salad. Serve immediately, although it does keep well for an hour or two.
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