Kale Quinoa Salad

The original inspiration for this salad came from Smitten Kitchen. I’ve had to make several¬†changes to accommodate the availability of ingredients in our rural area. The end result was a hit with the family and I’ve made it several times since.

Kale Quinoa Salad

Ingredients – Dressing

  • 4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

    Kale Quinoa Salad

    Kale Quinoa Salad

  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of kale (I’ve used both the curly kale and the dinosaur (aka Lacinator) kale.
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 bunch of scallions, sliced part ways up into the green stalk.
  • 5 oz bag dried tart cherries (my daughter used cranberries instead)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted until light brown and cool.
  • Feta Cheese – crumbled
  • Lemon zest gratings

Put it All Together

  1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly. Place the quinoa in a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups boiling water and a 1/4 tsp. sea salt. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Rinse quinoa well in cold water and drain. Set aside.
  2. Rinse and dry the kale. Remove the leaves from the stalks, discarding the stalks. Finely chop the kale and put in a large bowl.  (Do make sure it is chopped finely. )
  3. Add the quinoa, scallions, cherries, almonds and mix well.
  4. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour over the dressing. Grate some lemon zest over the salad. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Add the Feta cheese to the individual servings.
  6. This servers 3-4 as a meal or several smaller servings if used as a side.

Surprisingly, this salad will keep well in the refrigerator for a day.

Arugula with Chick-Pea Salad

arugula-chickpea-saladMy oldest son is into eating less meat in general, so we like to try vegetarian, fish or “light on the meat” dishes. This Arugula Salad was originally given to him by my sister who got it from Jack Bishop’s “Pasta and Verdura” book (which we also purchased). I think this dish is one of those love-it or hate-it dishes. And, obviously, we love it! Here’s the recipe with my comments and changes to accommodate our tastes.

Arugula with Chick-pea Salad

2 cans of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed. (original recipe recommends 1 cup dried chick-peas that have been re-hydrated, but never seem to have the time.)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
40 Kalamata black olives, pitted and sliced (original recipe calls for 15 – not enough for us)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
6 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large bunch arugula (about 1/3 lb). (We can never find arugula in our grocery store, so if it isn’t in the garden, I buy a sassy/bold mix of greens that is predominantly arugula).
1 lb whole wheat pasta, cooked and drained. Use rotini, shells, or whatever I can find

Directions:
1. Rinse and drain chick-peas and put in large bowl.
2. Bring salted water to boil in a large pot for cooking pasta.
3. Coarsely chop the pitted olives. Add them to the bowl with the chick-peas.
4. Combine the garlic, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, pepper flakes and salt. Slowly whisk in 4 Tbsp. olive oil. Drizzle over the chick-peas and olives, tossing gently. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.
5. Clean and dry the arugula. Coarsely chop the leaves and set aside.
6. Cook and drain pasta. Toss the hot pasta with the chick-pea mixture. Add the salad greens and remaining olive oil. Mix well until arugula wilts. Serve immediately. (This is also good cold the next day).