Despite the fact that Spring seems to have sprung (at least around these parts — temps in the high 70s here this week!), it’s not too late to try this hearty and healthy winter salad recipe, found on the Epicurious website. This is our second attempt at cooking with kale, and we think it turned out just as good as our first. We’re fans of roasted potatoes already and liked the idea of incorporating one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet for a “super food” side dish. Kale is rich in vitamins K, C and A and contains tons of health-boosting nutrients that do things like help with diet and digestion, provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, prevent cancer and lower cholesterol. Seriously, what doesn’t this leafy green do? If you’ve never tried kale, this potato salad is a good introduction to it. The salty, Parmesan-crusted potatoes complement the slightly bitter kale, and the lemon-tahini dressing brings it all together with rich, bright flavor. Surprisingly good!
Start with the potatoes. The original recipe calls for Yukon Gold potatoes, but we prefer red potatoes and just happened to have a few on hand. Wash the potatoes if you’re leaving the skin on, or peel them if you prefer them without skin. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces, then place them on a cookie sheet and toss them with olive oil and salt and pepper. Use more olive oil than you think (we used about 1/3 of a cup) in order to help the potatoes get crispy as they roast in the oven preheated to 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. Stir the potatoes after about 5 minutes.
Thinly slice 2-3 cloves of garlic — the thinner the better to avoid any overwhelming garlic bites in the finished dish. Add the garlic to the potatoes and continue roasting, stirring once, about 10 more minutes.
While the potatoes cook, prepare the kale by cutting out the middle stems (discard), then cut the leaves into thin strips and wash the strips in a salad spinner.
After the potatoes have turned golden brown, sprinkle them with about 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese and continue cooking until the cheese is melted and golden — about 5 more minutes.
Layer the kale strips on a sheet of foil or a cookie sheet and place it in the oven (either next to the cookie sheet with the potatoes or under the rack holding the potatoes) for the final 5 minutes of cooking time. This will help wilt the kale.
Make the dressing by pureeing 1/4 cup tahini, 2 tablespoons water, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 clove minced garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until smooth. If the dressing seems too thick, add a little more water.
Toss the potatoes and kale together, drizzle with the dressing and add salt & pepper to taste. Then pat yourself on the back for eating (and enjoying!) such a healthy vegetable. (What? We congratulate ourselves for good nutrition all the time. Whatever it takes!)