Saturday, June 28, 2014

Marinated Kale and White Bean Salad

As I've written in my Cooking Philosophy, I love recipes that I can make in bulk and enjoy for several days. I actually LOVE leftovers. Probably because I usually LOVE what I cooked. Maybe that's why I don't eat a lot of salad. Or maybe that's because it's salad. Well, I've been trying to expand my repertoire of salads that stay tasty for a few days because its summer and a) gorgeous veggies are in season, b) it's bathing suit season, and c) it's too hot to cook.

Hence my love for bean or grain-based salads. Sturdy veggies like bell peppers and carrots hold up well in these types of dishes. But, until now, I haven't been able to figure out how to get leafy greens in there. Enter kale, the superfood du jour. Did you know that you don't have to cook kale before you eat it? I mean, if you just chomp down on a raw leaf, you'll be sorry. It's pretty tough. But if you chop it up and marinate it in a dressing of vinegar and salt, it will magically become the same texture as if you had sauteed it!

The balsamic, garlic, and herb marinade make this one of the most flavorful salads you've ever tasted. The recipe is, of course, really flexible. When they are in season, I put in cherry tomatoes, other times, I put raw mushrooms in the marinade instead, and they get wonderfully pickled. Try tossing some bell peppers in! This is a great salad to pack for lunch when you won't have access to a microwave.

Marinated Kale and White Bean Salad
1 smallish bunch kale, stems removed, sliced into bite-sized pieces. This will seem like a lot of kale before you start to marinate it. Don't worry, it will wilt down.
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved OR sliced button mushrooms
1 t salt
lots of black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 t Italian seasoning
1 15 can cannellini beans
2 1/2 t minced garlic
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T olive oil

Combine the kale, tomatoes or mushrooms and salt in a colander. Let sit for 5-10 minutes so any excess liquid will drain out. Combine remaining ingredients and let marinate in fridge for at least an hour or two. 5-6 main dish servings. Keeps in the fridge for a week.