Sunday, June 19, 2011

Heidi's Kale Salad with Toasted Coconut & Sesame Oil

I meant to post this last week, but getting the family ready for our annual New Hampshire vacation took more time than I thought it would...
Now we are back in Brooklyn and, with my Father's Day Cheesecake in the oven, I have some time to catch up on some posting. 
We had our first CSA pick-up from the Greenwood Heights CSA last weekend. In addition to garlic scapes, radishes, baby lettuce and bok choi, I got a big bunch of kale.  
My first thought was to make kale chips but somewhere in the back of my head I heard the word 'bor-rring.' I've made kale chips one time too many. My next thought was to make some sort of kale pesto. Not a bad thought, but I have (what seems like) a gazillion gallons of arugula pesto in the fridge and the freezer.  
Then I remembered a kale recipe in my spring/summer bible, Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Food Every Day. So, I went ahead with it.
I really liked the use of farro and coconut-- and it's a nice combination that I don't think I've seen before. The recipe was also easy enough to make.  
The recipe also made enough for more than one sitting, so I brought my leftovers on a play-date/picnic that I had at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens with one of Otis's closest friends.  Healthy, seasonal, good flavor...perfect.
Note:  I couldn't find unsweetened large-flake coconut so I used 1 1/2 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut- not too large and not too fine...somewhere in between. Super Natural recommends 1/2 cup (1.5 oz) of finely shredded unsweetened coconut if you can't find the large-flake. Adjust it to your liking.
Kale Salad (Courtesy of Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons shoyu, tamari or soy sauce
3 1/2 lightly packed cups chopped kale, stems trimmed, large ribs removed
1 1/2 cups unsweetened large-flake coconut
2 cups cooked farro or other whole grain like wild rice or quinoa...I'd go with the farro. [1 cup dried made about 2 1/2 cups cooked. Directions for preparing farro below.]
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with two racks in the top third of the oven.  
In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake together the olive oil, sesame oil, and shoyu or soy sauce.  Put the kale and coconut in a large bowl and toss well with about two-thirds of the olive oil mixture.  
Spread the kale evenly across two baking sheets.  Bake for 12-18 minutes, until the coconut is deeply golden brown, tossing once or twice along the way.  If the kale mixture on the top baking sheet begins to get too browned, move it to a lower rack.
Remove from the oven and transfer the kale mixture to a medium bowl.  Taste.  If you feel it needs a bit more dressing, add some and toss.  Place the farro on a serving platter or bowl and top with the tossed kale.  Serve warm. 
This goes great with some grilled tofu or over a bowl of soba noddles. 

Cooking Farro from Food & Wine in Seattle Times: 1 cup whole-grain Italian farro; 2 quarts of boiling salted water.  Rinse farro in a strainer under cold running water.  Have the salted water boiling in a 6-quart pot.  Drop in the farro, stir and get water to a steady, lively simmer.  Partially cover the pot and cook 30 to 45 minutes, or until tender.  [Check to make sure the water doesn't evaporate completely.  If it does, add more water as needed.]  Drain the farro in a sieve.  Eat hot or at room temperature, seasoning to taste.

Happy Father's Day! 
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  1. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I have yet to try this dish with farro, but using quinoa works really well.

    If it interests you, I actually just blogged about how much I love this cookbook, and this recipe in particular. Since this kale salad is one of my favorites, I included a link to this post in my recipe round-up. Just thought you might like to know :)

    Very cute blog, btw!

  2. Love your blog. Great photos. It doesn't hurt to post Heidi's recipes either...

  3. I made this a few nights ago with bulghur and loved it. I'll definitely be making it again. I hope all is well with your newly expanded family! xoxo