SUMMERY KALE CHOP

Are you summering well? I see you people who make summer bucket lists and I imagine that helps one to optimize their time this season. I have an unacceptable amount of sand in my car, I am eating lots of tomatoes and fruit crisps and we cleaned up the front porch so we can sit out there at dusk with a glass of wine and watch the kids run around in the grass so I do feel in it. We didn’t plan a big trip, I need more long afternoons at the beach and I haven’t had friends over for dinner as often as I’d like but I believe summer lasts through September so there is still time. Sounds like perhaps I need a list. 

I am going to Vietnam on Friday, so there’s that. It is sort of last minute and part of a campaign I am working on with Celestial Seasonings. We’re going to a cinnamon farm to see the process of harvesting, drying, grinding the cinnamon that is then used for teas or cooking and such and I can’t wait. In the depths of my momm-ing I have felt so eager to learn and see something new; break the routine. It will feel good to recharge in that way. I am scared to leave my people, but thrilled that I get to see a new place. This job, it’s pretty wild and I like it. I will be on a plane/in transit almost just as long as I will be in the country so please pass on any book recommendations. I am picky about self help/spiritual stuff and can’t do super sad, but tell me what you’re loving. I’ll share some photos on Instagram and chat with you lovelies in a few weeks! 

SUMMERY KALE CHOP // Serve 4

I like the crunch and structure of kale in salads but I know it can be a bit much. You could swap in tender greens or romaine in its place, or even half and half, and not change anything aside from the massaging the dressing into the greens step.The nuts and dressing can be made in advance.

spicy pepitas
1 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. maple syrup
3/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne, to taste
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

cilantro dressing
handful of cilantro
1 garlic clove
1 anchovy, optional
1 tsp. dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. cashew butter*
1/2 tsp. sea salt
pinch of fresh ground pepper
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

* I usually add a dollop of mayonnaise to make my dressings a little thicker, but wanted to try a plant based route. They sell cashew butter at Trader Joes or Whole Foods or surely your local health food store. Otherwise, about 1/3 cup of cashews soaked in water will do the same thing if blended long enough. 

1 bundle of Lacinato/Tuscan Kale, stemmed and well chopped
1/4 of a red onion, shaved thin
1/2 cup cooked lentils
1/2 cup crumbled sheeps’ milk feta, plus more for garnish
1 avocado, pitted and cubed
1 peach, pitted and cubed

To make the spicy pepitas, warm the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the maple, pepitas, salt, cayenne and garlic powder and stir to coat. Continue to stir until the nuts are toasted, about 3 minutes. Remove to a piece of parchment to cool completely. 

For the dressing, in a blender, combine the cilantro, garlic, anchovy, dijon, cashew butter, salt, pepper, cider vinegar and lemon juice. Blitz a few times to chop. Add the olive oil and whiz until everything is well combined. 

In a large salad bowl, add the chopped kale. Add a drizzle of the dressing and work it into the kale with your hands, breaking down some of the structure so the kale is nicer to eat. Add the onion, lentils, feta cheese, avocados, peaches, handful of the pepitas and toss to coat. Serve the salad with a few spicy pepitas and feta cheese on top. 

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