I don’t think I managed to post anything last week–except for a few pictures of some yummy bites on Instagram (@eatwellwithmoira). Spring has sprung here in Northern California, and I wanted to get the garden planted. I can ignore the vegetables gone to seed and the lavender with woody stocks while it’s cold and/or wet outside, but when the sun settles in for a long stay, I feel desperate to get the garden sorted and looking good. I also happen to like gardening, so you won’t find me outside directing someone else to cut here, prune there, dig here and plant there. Granted, after trimming over 300 shoots/branches off of our apple tree, while balanced on the second from the top step of an 8-foot ladder, I called in reinforcements (my husband) to finish the job. It works best if I do at least half the trimming first, since the guilt of seeing me out there toiling in the sun tends to make him want to prove he can operate a saw and pruning shears, too. However, he leaves all the digging, mulching and planting to me.
Where’s the photo of the garden, you ask? Well, since many of the new plants start out small, it looks nice and orderly out back, but not particularly lush and filled in yet. I will post something at the peak of summer, when the garden is in full bloom and worthy of a photo.
Now back to the recipe at hand… Before you say to yourself (or outloud), “Not another kale salad!” Try this recipe. Even my 6-year-old son loves it! It’s naturally sweet thanks to the sliced beets and apple, and the creamy dressing softens–sort of tenderizes, the kale, allowing all the flavors and textures to come together perfectly. And best of all, the dressing is so incredibly creamy that you will swear someone must have snuck in some real cream (i.e., dairy). I think this dressing could work well with a lot of other salads, too.
You can pull together this dish in minutes, but if you have a little extra time and the inclination, I’d recommend roasting the beet for about 20 minutes to soften it ever so slightly. If you don’t have the time or feel a little lazy like me, just slice the beet into very thin slices.
1 ripe avocado, halved, peeled and seed removed
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
2 tsp quality Dijon mustard
2 tbsp nut oil or extra-virgin olive oil*
Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper
1 bunch curly kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 small red beet, peeled and thinly sliced
1 crisp apple, such as Fuji, cored and cut into thin wedges
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the avocado, vinegar, mustard, and oil. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. (It will be very thick, like a pudding.)
In a large bowl, toss the kale with the beet and apple slices. Toss again with the dressing. Adjust the seasoning and give a final toss with the walnuts. Serve immediately.