Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Pecans

Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Kale

Two co-workers were talking about the best kale salad ever at this fancy restaurant downtown — Oak. They both noted that it was most memorable part of their meal. The salad. Can you believe that?!

That conversation got my mind going, and somehow I invented a story in my head about that salad. In my mind, it had pecans, dates, and even bacon. It wasn’t just kale, there were other greens to lighten it up. And the dressing was tangy and sweet but not overpowering. I thought about that salad so much that I went ahead and made it (because why not?).

Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Kale
Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Kale

It wasn’t until I went to write this post that I remembered the original inspiration (Oak’s famous salad), and figured I should probably look up what their kale salad actually contains. Boy was I off the mark!

Shaved Apple & Kale Salad. Grana Padano, togarashi, candied almonds.

Say what??! Kale, apples, cheese, candied nuts, you have me on the edge of my seat! But then, Togarashi?!

I guess I have to just go try the original. Until then, I’m going to pretend my own kale salad is just as famous.

Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Kale

Chopped Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates & Pecans

Published October 4, 2018 by
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Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



Ingredients:


For the Salad:
  • 4 kale leaves, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup romaine, shredded
  • 1 cup radicchio, shredded
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, cooled and chopped in bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Place kale in a salad bowl. Drizzle lightly with oil and a sprinkle of salt. Using your hands, “massage” the kale, rubbing the leaves with your hands until they are bright green and tender. This will make them easier to eat.
    2. Add shredded romaine and radicchio to the bowl, and toss to combine. Add bacon, dates, and pecans.
    3. Combine first four ingredients for vinaigrette in a small jar and shake to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over salad to your tastes and toss. Serve.

    Chickpea Antipasto Salad

    Chickpea Antipasto Salad

    In the kitchen, there is the sound of a ticking clock. From the open sliding door on my right, the leaves rustling in the breeze. The high today is seventy-one degrees. The last time I could say that was probably early April, and it feels like a treat. 

    We had no idea what to expect when we arrived in McCall. Boise is surrounded by golden dry hills, the city itself an sprawl of big box department stores. But the further north you go the more trees you find, and the grasses begin to turn green. As you coast down the road into McCall's center you spot Lake Payette, like a gem in the rough. 

    Here, I'm going to be soaking up the cooler weather -- currently drinking orange cinnamon tea - but back home, I'm still defaulting to no-cook, no-bake, minimal effort meals, like this Chickpea Antipasto Salad. 

    This dish is a bit like pasta salad, minus the pasta, and all you do is mix. That's right: skip the oven, skip the stove, and even skip dishes -- it's a one-bowl wonder. 

    Now, back to my seventy degree weather! I've got a vacation to enjoy! 

    Chickpea Antipasto Salad
    Chickpea Antipasto Salad

    Chickpea Antipasto Salad

    Published August 23, 2018 by
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    Serves: 4-6   |    Active Time: 10 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2 sixteen-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, quartered and drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives, pitted and drained
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbles
  • Optional: serve over a bed of butterhead lettuce

  • Directions:

    1. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to combine.
    2. Serve immediately, or make a day ahead of time, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
    3. Optionally, serve over a bed of butterhead lettuce leaves.

    Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

    Pan Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

    My first (and maybe my last?) fishing pole was a Mickey Mouse fishing pole.

    With a conviction to teach his daughter where food came from, my dad took me fishing when I was young. I remember catching a fish just once, but remember at least several meals while camping that my dad had caught on a hook.

    In Colorado our fishing access is limited to creeks and reservoirs (there are a few lakes, but they are tiny). It seems it is always trout, though I really know nothing about fishing, so I could be wrong. But what I know is that many a meal was served to me as a kid, where a whole trout was seasoned and roasted. I struggled to learned how to separate the meat from the bones in one fell swoop, usually picking them out one by one. 

    i know that seeing the whole fish is off putting to some— I don’t blame you. But to me, it’s part of the experience. It says something about that dish; makes it feel “more,” like maybe your dad caught the fish himself.

    Pan Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary
    Pan Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

    Fresh, trout can have a quite mild flavor. It’s meat is flakey and delicate, and pairs well with a spritz of lemon, a side of potatoes, and fresh herbs. 

    It feels like a hallmark of summer to me: a sign that the creeks are gushing and full of life, a part of camping season, and best enjoyed with other fresh summer finds, like rosemary. 

    Pan Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

    Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

    Published June 26, 2018 by
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    Yields: 2-4   |    Active Time: 45 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2 whole trout, dedressed 
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 springs rosemary 
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 3 cups diced red potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss diced potatoes and minced garlic in olive oil. Spread out on a sheet pan, and sprinkle with half of the salt and pepper. Then, bake for 30 minutes, until potatoes are just starting to turn golden on the outside.
    2. Meanwhile, season each fish with the remaining salt & pepper. Then, place half of the lemon slices and 1 sprig of rosemary in the cavity of each fish. If desired, tie the fish closed with twine.
    3. After the potatoes have cooked for 30 minutes, push them to either side of the baking sheet to make room for the fish. Place each fish on the pan, and return pan to oven for 20 minutes, or until meat is opaque and easily flakes when pricked with a fork. Potatoes should also be tender all the way through when pricked with a fork. Serve hot.