In my ongoing quest to find new and exciting ingredients at my farmers market, this week I discovered red Russian kale.
I know kale is fairly ubiquitous these days, but the red Russian variety is a little different; the purplish color was oh-so-pretty, and the shape of the leaves is longer and thinner. Flavor and texture-wise it’s similar to typical green curly-leafed kale, so you can use it the same ways.
Sunday’s hot weather and our plans for a cookout dictated a light, cool salad, so I drummed up this kale slaw. The shredded carrot added a slight sweetness, which was a good counterpoint to the bitterness of the kale, and it brought a visual pop of color.
Good news/bad news is that you must do this several hours — or even days — ahead of time. The tough kale mellows and absorbs flavor as it sits in the lemon juice dressing. So, you can throw it together in the morning, and then go about your day; when dinnertime rolls around, you’re halfway to done.
Serves 4 as a side dish
4 cups kale, sliced in thin ribbons
Juice of 2 lemons
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
Generous amount of freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ of an onion, diced finely
1 or 2 carrots, grated
Mix all ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl. Toss to blend well.
Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for several hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and season as needed, and serve.