Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuscan Kale Salad with Pea Shoots and Radishes

Tuscan Kale Salad with Pea Shoots and Radishes
Last week I finished an article for Delicious Living Magazine, with six salad recipes. This one was pretty simple, but I found it satisfying in several ways. It managed to have both chewy and crunchy textures, a sweet-sour-salty-bitter balance, some interesting colors and shapes, and a clean finish.

I did something I hadn't tried before, which was to blanch the radishes before cutting them. Just a quick plunge in boiling water, followed by a plunge in ice water, but the effect was profound. There was a little loss of color (I had gotten a bunch of "rainbow' radishes, so muting them wasn't exactly a plus), but there was also a slight lessening of sharpness--that harsh, in-your-face radish thing that tends to steal the show when paired with less assertive vegetables, like the pea shoots, for example. This also made them a tad less crunchy, but I added baby cucumbers, in nice thick slices, which amply made up for their sacrifice.

To soften any remaining edges and pull it all together, I dressed these four very different vegetables in a silky emulsion of Udo's DHA 3-6-9 Oil Blend, mellow white miso, lemon juice, lemon zest, Aleppo pepper, and black pepper. The recipe included a fillet of steamed cod for the magazine (tasted and approved by my nonvegan wife), but the truth is, I designed this salad to stand on its own--and for me, it definitely did.


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