Ah, the mighty kale. Is there any produce that has rocked our world harder than this super-green? We've put it in soups for winter cleanses, blended it in smoothies for glowing skin, and told it all our hopes and dreams and secret crushes. It is truly a miracle food. Kale is seasonally a winter vegetable — but forget you, winter. We want all those antioxidants, vitamins, and detox benefits now, when we need them most. Raise your hand if you've over-barbecued, ice creamed, or margarita'd this month? It's cool — our hands are up there, too.
Here's where a little mid-season break comes in handy, and our old friend kale is here to see us through, once again. We've taken the cold-weather green and revamped it for summer with three healthy recipes that will rock your August. Grab yourself a big bunch and get to know the other side of kale. Then, have another marg. It's still summer, after all.
A lighter spin on the summer classic, this kale slaw is possibly our new favorite summer salad/side dish. It's more crisp and crunchy than the white gloppy stuff that usually comes on the side of your burger. This recipe serves a whole table, or you can keep a batch in the fridge for days without the leaves wilting. Such is the power of kale.
1 head kale
1/2 head purple cabbage
4 large carrots
2 tbsp sesame seeds
Juice of one lemon
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp olive oil
Wash, dry, and tear kale into large but bite-able pieces. Throw into a large salad bowl.
Slice cabbage into thin strips (about 1/4-inch). Slice carrots on an angle into thin pieces — or use a mandolin to make it super easy. Toss with kale.
In a small bowl or cup, whisk together lemon juice, mustard, mayo, and olive oil. Drizzle lightly over the slaw mixture and toss.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds, toss once more to combine, and serve!
Listen, salad is great, but sometimes a girl needs a pizza in her face. As it turns out, hearty kale leaves make the perfect topping — they crisp up in the oven and add a hearty flavor to this dish. If you're worried about turning on the oven in the dog days of summer, fear not. This baby is in and out in 10 minutes, ready to satisfy your junk-food craving without actually being junk food.
1 ball pizza dough*
1 small sweet potato
1 red onion
5-10 large kale leaves
1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
*Dough can be purchased from virtually any pizza shop for five bucks or less. This stuff will roll out better than frozen dough; though, that'll work in a pinch (just let it defrost on the counter for a few hours). If you're feeling really basic, just grab a prebaked crust from the supermarket. No judgment here.
Preheat oven to 500. Roll out the dough and lay on a pizza stone, cookie sheet, or tinfoil, lightly oiled and floured (or lined with parchment paper).
Distribute half of the cheese evenly over the dough. Cut onion in half and slice into thin crescents, and lay on top of the cheese.
Wash sweet potato and cut into quarters. Slice each quarter into thin, bite-sized pieces and add to the pizza.
Wash kale and cut into small pieces (about 2 inches across). Lay kale onto the pizza and top with remaining cheese.
Pop it in the oven for 10 minutes or until the crust starts to brown and the cheese is melted. When it looks like a pizza you want to eat, take it out.
So, you like those kale chips, huh? Well, meet their sexier, smokier cousin — grilled kale. As simple as it sounds, we can't believe it took us this long to try this genius summer recipe. It takes about two minutes to complete, and these large crispy leaves make the perfect shareable appetizer or table snack. You can whip up a large platter in minutes and let guests pull off bite-sized pieces to nibble on. Or keep 'em all to yourself and enjoy a healthy and utterly addictive new nosh.
1 large bunch of lacinato kale (aka, dinosaur kale)
Olive oil for brushing
Sea salt to taste
Wash kale leaves and dry completely. Lay them out on a large platter or cookie sheet.
Brush each leaf lightly with olive oil. If you don't have a brush, just get a little messy and use your fingers. Your cuticles will thank you later.
Lay each leaf on the hot grill for about 45 seconds per side, or until they get brown and crispy (you can use a grill pan on a stovetop, too). You may have to turn a couple times to check that they're ready. Don't freak out if you get some burned spots — they actually add a great hit of flavor.
When done, stack leaves on a large plate, sprinkling each with flakey sea salt (like Maldon), and serve!
Food Styling by Rhoda Boone