The culinary bandwagon rolled by several times, but I am still driving a VW. These days, there are so many creative food items that have been brought into the limelight, cast as super foods, that it can be somewhat overwhelming, especially for those of us who like to keep things simple. My generation saw chia seeds sprouted as tacky mini clay figurines, not praised as a dietary supplement. Millet is a tempting snack for my pet bird and kombucha, hell, if I face-planted into one, I would never even know it.
Enter the Kale Phenomenon. This rough-and-tough leafy green would do better as an ornamental plant in my garden rather than gracing my dinner plate. So I thought, til I tasted it. Even I can bend to the big waves which have been boasting its exceptional nutritional attributes. Throw some parmesan and strawberries into the mix and I'll eat anything.
As a bonus, there is a purple blooming variety with the added benefit of rich polyphenol antioxidants. I not a registered dietitian and so am more impressed with its stunning beauty. Composed as a colourful salad, its deep, bright purple hue, graceful curls tinted in green and interesting veining mimic the vivid world of marine life. Luckily, this beauty does not seem to mind my awkward stares.
A salad is indeed the best way to showcase this leafy blossom. Fresh strawberries, Asian pears, dried tart cherries all dove into the big bowl, bathed in fresh lime juice and a touch of balsamic vinegar, finished with snowy blanket of finely grated parmesan.
Purple Kale Strawberry Salad
1 head of flowering purple kale
1 Asian pear
1/4 dried pitted tart cherries
1 lime, juiced
1 Tb balsamic vinegar
4 Tb grated parmesan
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch of salt
Juice the lime.
Wash and rinse the kale and pear.
Slice the pear, chop the kale and drizzle lime juice over the pear.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add dried cherries.
Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the fruits and give them a gentle toss.
Just before serving,
wash and slice strawberries.
Add to the salad, sprinkle grated parmesan on top.
Healthy is tasty and beautiful in this innovative salad. All flavours are in order: Salty, sweet, tart. The textures are so interesting with the rough chewy purple kale, crunchy pear, juicy strawberries and gummy cherries and nothing is missed. It pairs well with grilled fish, crusty bread and a full-bodied red. Looking at this beautiful bowl fills my mind with visions of sea kelp swaying to the waves, bright starfish glistening in the sunlight that pierces the water and ornamental coral gracing the reef.