The past few days we’ve woken to fog here, spacious and damp, and my morning walk to the subway has had an unwieldy gravitas. A lady doesn’t like to have to walk proudly into the unknown just to get to work. Bridges lead nowhere and Queens is an island.
Instead, I am thinking myself warm. I am picturing myself in the sun with hair that I don’t have because in the summer aren’t we always better off with different hair? I’m not thinking about my own summer, I’m thinking instead of my better summer: a Steve Nicks skirt and expertly shucked oysters.
This year, my own summer gave me many kale salads. Many “folding chair in front of a window fan” meals. If a kale salad is anything, it’s loyal. Unlike the tomato, it will see you into winter. The deep hues of the cooler months are right at home here: forest, russet, and the watermelon radish’s natural ombré. Who said winter had to be grey? It may seem counterintuitive, but I think a kale salad that can stand against the cold is a perfect addition to your winter holiday table.
Kale Salad with Fennel, Radicchio, and Asian Pear
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, washed, dried and de-ribbed
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 T lemon juice
- 4 leaves radicchio
- 1 asian pear
- 1 small bulb fennel
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut the kale in 1/4 inch thin strips and place in a large bowl with the garlic.
2. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil and lemon juice and shake until emulsified. This is your dressing!
3. Pour the dressing on the kale and garlic mixture and use your hands to “massage” the dressing into the kale, distributing it evenly. Set is aside to marinate quickly while you chop the remaining ingredients.
4. Cut the radicchio into short strips also about 1/4 inch thick. Add it to the kale mixture without stirring.
5. Core, halve, then quarter the asian pear and cut it into very thin slices that are still crunchy, about 1/8 inch thick. Add it to the kale mixture without stirring.
6. Remove the fronds from the fennel and slice the bulb in half. Cut a triangle shape in each half to remove as much of the tougher core as possible. Slice the fennel about 1/8 inch thick and add it to the bowl.
7. Toss everything together to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- This serves about 4 as a side. If you’re less people than 4, this is quite good leftover.
- We’ve been getting watermelon radishes in our CSA, so I substitute that for the fennel when I have it. It’s also great.