Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Oh come now, don't sound so surprised..."

"...I told you massaged kale salad was delicious!"
I found myself saying this quite often these past few days -- first during a cooking class with some (rather surly) high schoolers at the Lederer Youth Garden on Friday morning, then again during my shift as the resident chef at the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace on Saturday morning. Yep, that was me in the chef's tent. After two hours of crunching bowl after giant bowl of curly kale at the farmers' market with my bare hands, I'm surprised I could even flex my fingers by lunchtime. That just goes to show you how strong my muscles are from biking (death-gripping the brakes as Ollie and I fly screaming down the 13th Street hill) and gardening (ripping up tenacious weeds). And perhaps most of all from the flurry of sourdough bread baking of late (and ripping off hunks to slather in butter). All that kneading, wooh! Boy could I have used a massage myself after all of that, but alas....
It was intense, but fun and totally worth it. Quite a number of folks -- skeptical high schoolers, adventurous market shoppers, curious parents, even a local farmer or two -- were brave enough to try my concoction of kale, apples, red onion, slivered almonds, and cave aged feta. And they loved it. In fact, so many folks loved it that Dragonfly Farms sold out of kale within an hour, and I quickly ran through the photocopies of the recipe I had on me. I've heard from a number of folks via email requesting the surprisingly simple-yet-tasty and infinitely adaptable recipe in the days since. (Yes, I've apparently gone from giving out fake phone numbers at salsa clubs a year ago to handing out my email to total strangers at farmers' markets. I'm not sure what to make of that.)
For those who missed Saturday's market but have been wondering what all the hullabaloo about massaged kale is about, here's the recipe.
Let me know what you think. But just to give you fair warning: it's so good that a friend of mine told me of an incident a few months back where his significant other held him practically at knifepoint in the kitchen insisting that he make another batch after accidentally eating the leftover massaged kale salad she was planning to take for lunch. (Don't worry, it all worked out and they're getting married next month.)

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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