I have no tolerance for low temperatures, and people typically have no tolerance for me when low temperatures are present. I am unproductive. I complain. I am the worst.
But that’s all about to change, because daylight saving time started yesterday, temperatures were in the 50’s this weekend, and I was finally able to go running outside on the Brooklyn (Williamsburg? I don’t even know.) Bridge after work tonight. I’m going to ignore the forecast for snow later this week and focus on the fact that summer is on its way.
I truly love everything about summer. I love the heat, the extra sunlight, eating outside, and the ability to wear tank tops every single day. Sleeves are the enemy.
But the real reason I love summer is because it lets you be carefree in a way that no other season allows. I like for it to be so unbearably hot that all responsibilities and commitments fade away, because all anyone can fathom doing is nothing at all. My favorite memory from last summer in Boston was laying by the Chestnut Hill reservoir during a heatwave and doing nothing but read books and sleep beneath a tree all day.
It was almost too hot to eat that afternoon, but fresh fruit and cold kale salad packed in jars made for perfect picnic food. I recreated a version of this kale salad to celebrate what I hope is the beginning of winter’s end.
This salad consists of shredded kale and brussels sprouts tossed in a base dressing of fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Sliced almonds give it a little crunch, but the best part about this salad is how simple it is.
That being said, there are a few tricks to making a really good kale salad. The first one is to not use curly kale like I did. I happened to have a massive amount of curly kale I needed to get rid of, but I always use Lacinato kale, and you should too. It’s sturdier and tastes much better in salads. You’ll also want to use more dressing than you would with a typical salad, because kale leaves are less absorbent. Lastly, mix with your hands and really coat the leaves heavily. Some people call this massaging.
Serve this as a first course, or add some grilled tempeh and turn it into a light meal. Either way, summer is on its way and this is a perfect dish to get ready for it.
- 1 bunch of Lacinato (dino) kale
- 4 cups brussels sprouts
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds (roasted, optional)
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (1 lemon)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Thoroughly rinse kale and brussels sprouts under running water.
- Shred kale into ribbons by removing the stems, rolling the leaves up like sleeping bags, and then cutting into thin strips with a very sharp knife.
- Shred brussels sprouts by cutting off woody stems, removing outer leaves, and then slicing from top to bottom. Separate the layers.
- Combine garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and nutritional yeast in a food processor until garlic is finely chopped.
- Pour lemon dressing over kale and brussels sprouts, and mix thoroughly by hand for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Let marinate in refrigerator or serve immediately.
Vague references and faceless images blur the details, but everyone tells their own version of the same story.