Friday, August 2, 2013

Salad With a Spin - Kale & Parsnip Panzanella

Photo: NK 
Fact: Salads really do run the gamut from smashing to snore-worthy.

Fact: Bread makes everything better. Especially Salads. 

Fact: Grilled Bread with fruity Olive Oil, sprinkled with Salt, Pepper, and Smokey Paprika makes things infinitely better. 

Myth: Kale is always tough and unappealing if you don't cook it. 

Ho-ly-smokes. Make our raw Kale & Parsnip Salad and dispel the myth that Kale Must be cooked to be amazing. 

Not so! With the right amount of loving care, some lemon juice (or vinegar-acid is the key to softening up Kale) and a little time + a tenderizing leaf massage, Kale can be served au natural, no heat required. Slice up those sturdy leaves nice and thin, though. Now - how to make our little Kale Ribbons sing? That's easy. We're serving them in a Panzanella (aka Tuscan Bread Salad - see our last Panzanella HERE) with shavings of sweet Parsnips and homemade grilled Croutons made from hearty Peasant Bread that's been jazzed up with Hot Smoked Spanish Paprika.

Let's get to it:

Kale and Parsnip Panzanella with Grilled Paprika Croutons 
Serves at least 4 
Parsnip Ribbons, Photo: NK 

Salad Ingredients:
1 Head of Lacinato (aka Tuscan or Dinosaur) Kale, washed and dried, ribs removed from leaves

1 Large Parsnip, peeled, then shaved into thin ribbons using a vegetable peeler

3 Slices of Peasant Bread
Olive Oil (for brushing the Bread)
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Hot Smoked Spanish Paprika
Optional Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

For the Dressing:
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil + extra for brushing the Bread
1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Light Agave or Honey

Kale Ribbons, Photo: NK
1.Pile Kale Leaves together and slice horizontally into very thin ribbons.

2. Add Kale Ribbons to a large Ziploc Bag.

3. Add Parsnip Ribbons.


4. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

5. Pour Dressing into Ziploc Bag and seal. Shake the bag and squeeze between your fingers
to distribute the dressing and rub it all into the Kale.

6. Allow the bag to sit at room temperature for at least a half an hour, squeezing and shaking it occasionally.

7. Meanwhile, heat up a grill or grill pan over a very high flame. Lay Bread Slices on a surface and brush them one side with Olive Oil. Now sprinkle with Kosher Salt, Pepper, and an ample hit of Hot Smoked Spanish Paprika. (Don't skimp on the Salt, either).

Preparing the Grilled Bread, Photo: NK

8. Place Bread slices on the grill or grill pan and cook for 3 minutes on one side until grill marks appear. 

9. Flip Bread to the other side
and cook another 1 minute. 

10. Allow the Bread to cool and then slice into bite-sized chunks. 

To Serve:

Plate Kale and Parsnip Ribbons and lightly toss with Chunks of Bread. To finish, sprinkle with optional grated Parmigiana.

Kale & Parsnip Panzanella with Grilled Paprika Croutons, Photo: NK 

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