Coming to the vegan lifestyle after my family's habits have been well-established, my procedure for dinner is usually to plan my own food first, and then to make a meat dish and plenty of starchy food like potatoes or pasta for the others. Then it all goes on the table and everyone takes what they want. I normally need to make a simple spinach or caesar salad for the kids too since they are picky, but I want them to eat their veggies. Fruit is also often featured for this reason. With all this planning, you can imagine what a thrill it is whenever somebody non-vegan really loves something I have prepared for myself. I always make a large quantity of my own food anyway since I love the leftovers for lunch the next day.
8 kale leaves, stems removed
3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
dash black pepper
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 Tbsp. raw pine nuts
small handful of sliced black olives
Roll the leaves like a cigar and cut crosswise into thin strips. Place the sliced kale in a large bowl and add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Massage the kale with your hands to soften the leaves. This may take a few minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine.
I love how simple this recipe is. My salad turned out a little different from Morgan's -- you might notice there are no visible pine nuts in my photo. My 16 year old son is allergic to tree nuts of every kind (everything but peanuts) So I served the pine nuts on the side for us to add on top -- they are important to the combination of flavors, rounding it out nicely. Also, I couldn't find the smooth kale, so mine is curly -- no neat little strips, more a jumble of curly pieces. I used a lot more kale than is called for. I tend to get into a meditative state when washing and de-stemming greens during the pre-dinner low-biorhythm time of day. Once I snapped to, I had a whole large bowlful, so I upped the other ingredients until it looked like Morgan's photo. I also added a small handful of capers because, well, I like them. They add a tiny pickle tang, but the milder flavor without them is equally wonderful. My husband never cared for capers or olives, so I got to top off my second helping of salad with his rejects -- yummy!
As you can tell from how loosely I tend to follow recipes, I can really appreciate one that is so simple and yet inventive. The combination of these flavors and textures is unprecedented. Give it a try!