It is that time of year again when our bodies are yearning for a little cleaning out. When I started to make this salad, I wasn’t thinking about creating something that was supportive of the liver and it’s detoxification process. But as I added each ingredient, I thought, hey! This is one clean salad! Radicchio, radish, red onion, garlic….the more bitter it is, the better for your liver.
To balance out the bitterness, the dressing has a touch of sweetness from the honey. The toasted hazelnuts add an earthy crunch that helps to further round out all of the flavors. Lastly, herbs (cilantro, mint, and parsely) barely chopped in the salad allows for their freshness and flavor to really shine. It’s amazing what fresh herbs can do to a dish! Not only do they elevate the flavor, they are super-charged with nutrition.
I made this for a dinner at our friend’s house, Jean-Francois and Helen Bizalion. Who, by the way have the most scrumptious specialty food and olive oil shop located in Great Barrington, MA. For those of you local, you can check them out at www.bizalions.com.
In our kitchen lately it’s been all about roasting. Tis’ the season, no? It’s getting colder here in the Northeast, and the leaves are falling. I love roasting because number one, it’s easy and very uncomplicated. And two, because it brings out a completely different side of vegetables. Their sweet side! From raw, feisty and crunchy, to sweet, savory and soft. Can’t get your kids to eat cabbage, try this. The sweetness will surprise you (in a good way)…. my taste buds were humming. I love when a taste can transcend happiness in just one simple bite. Yum.
A savory side dish with a rich, sweet flavor that enhances a dish made with fish, game, or meat.
Aperitif is the popular French tradition of serving a cocktail (usually one to stimulate appetite like champagne or vermouth) and a light snack before dinner. Aperitif derives from the latin word aperire, which literally means ‘to open’. It opens you to conversation, to enjoying friends and family, and of course, it opens your digestion and prepares you for the meal to come. I love this hour. When we are in France, it’s a perfect opportunity to catch up with family, friends or neighbors, while nibbling and sipping.
We carry on this tradition in the states and at our last aperitif, I put a “greener” twist on things, and I served these lovely kale chips to start. These are my “go-to” recipe anytime we are entertaining guests. They will satisfy your fussiest of customers (like 3 year old children). You’d never know these puppies are packed with so much goodness! Kale has really come a long way from the days of being served as a garnish alongside an orange slice at some of the classiest of dives….you know what I am talking about. Yes. Now this leafy veg has taken center stage in the foodie arena, it’s all the buzz in the eater world. So what’s all the hype about?
For starters, there aren’t many other vegetables that can compete with the cancer-fighting and inflammation-reducing qualities that kale has. Let’s start with it’s phytonutrient content, which are tiny molecules in plants that have incredible transformative abilities (of your cells!). One is called sulfurophane, which has natural detoxifying abilities that boosts your liver to get rid of toxins while also reducing inflammation. Another is kaempferol, which turns on your “fountain of youth” genes.
Eat kale, live longer? I’m in! Just one cup of kale boasts 134% of your DV of vitamin C, 206 % of your vitamin A, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K! All of that for just a meager 33 calories. It also contains calcium, and because of the high amount of vitamin K, the calcium is absorbed better than it would be from milk.
So why not impress your friends at your next soirée and serve-up some super-easy (although they don’t have to know) uber-healthy, lovely kale chips.
Ode to Kale:
Oh kale, how I love your green face.
From the earth, to my plate
In my smoothie, glowing my skin
Kale, I see us growing old together
Kale, oh kale, you I will never forget
Preheat the oven to 275. Cut stems from kale leafs and size as you wish (big chips, small chips?). Drizzle with olive oil and seasonings, and add any additional toppings here. Toss until leaves are well coated. Spread thinly on baking sheets making sure there are not too many overlapping. Place in oven for around 35 min, give or take depending on your oven. Check every 10 min and turn leaves. They are done when they are crispy.
Serve with a dip, a bowl of pistachios, and other lovely spreads.