21 Sep kale + hazelnut salad
Did you know that kale has its own PR machine? British born but New York based Oberon Sinclair runs the very cool transatlantic agency My Young Auntie, and Sinclair counted Chris Blackwell of Island Records and Vivienne Westwood as past clients. In 2012, she was hired by the American Kale Association to shed this vegetable’s stuffy rep. She started by using her connections in New York’s dining scene to get kale seen on the best plates in town. Pretty soon, everyone was talking about kale – Pinterest seemed to be full of this green giant. Even Beyonce got swept up in the glamour, donning a kale sweatshirt to proclaim her love. We love this story (and wonder what vegetable will get the Sinclair treatment next) and we also love kale. Even if it is so 2013.
kale + hazelnut salad
We are big fans of Oxmantown café at 16 Mary’s Abbey just off Capel Street in Dublin 1. They’ve become famed for their sandwiches (the ham hock and grilled cheese is a personal favourite) but it’s their salads that we consider the quiet heroes of this unassuming eatery. We became obsessed with their salad of kale, hazelnut, roasted Jerusalem artichokes and Parmesan and started making our own version. Theirs trumps ours, however, and not just because of the Jerusalem artichokes. Find out more about them at http://www.oxmantowndublin.com/.
Ingredients (serves 4)
200g of kale
1 tablespoon of rapeseed (or olive) oil
Juice of ½ a lemon
Large handful of hazelnuts
100g of feta
1. Remove the kale leaves from the stalks. Discard the stalks and slice the kale leaves into bite-sized chunks. Wash the leaves really well before transferring them to a mixing bowl.
2. Add the rapeseed oil and the juice of ½ a lemon to the kale leaves. Use your hands to rub the oil and lemon juice into the leaves. Do this for about five minutes until the leaves soften. (This is a technique one of my favourite Irish food writers, Dorcas Barry, refers to as “massaging” the kale. Find out more about Dorcas and her kale advocacy at http://dorcasbarry.com/.
3. Meanwhile, halve the hazelnuts and put into a dry frying pan. Toast the hazelnuts for a few minutes over a medium heat, being careful not to burn them. Remove from the heat and set aside.
4. Divide the massaged kale between serving bowls. Top with a handful of toasted hazelnuts and a good crumbling of feta and serve with an extra drizzling of rapeseed (or olive) oil.
This recipe first appeared in Insider Magazine in The Irish Independent on September 18th