Being a child of the seventies, I am intimately familiar with the attributes of iceberg lettuce. In fact, I was not aware there were any other types of lettuce until I was ten, and my mother presented “Iceberg’s” evil nemesis “Romaine” at the dinner table. She had discovered “Caesar salad,” along with all of the other mothers in 1976, and, as a result, romaine lettuce had taken up permanent residence in our fridge. After we ate about 1,000 Caesar salads, a parade of new lettuces debuted on the salad scene – spinach, spring mix, arugula, and herb mix, all held prime produce space at the local grocer.
But, kale – kale is a manly lettuce, a lettuce that is sturdy, and holds up in a fight. You would want kale on your desert island. Kale is the lettuce you call when you’re in a pinch. Aside from all its nutritional properties – kale is just cool.
Hip and popular, kale is a great lettuce option for a gold metal salad. Iceberg lettuce? What now? Kale is a salad-based choice that will have your friends calling you after a party asking, “What was that recipe??”
I have crafted what I think is a kale salad that is visually gorgeous and tastes like a dream. Loaded with nutritional “POW” this salad can fit into any potluck situation, or be the “arm candy” of a great cut of meat.
- 10 cups thinly chopped kale (preferably black kale)
- ½ cup Pepitas-toasted
- 1 mango
- 2 mandarin oranges (blood orange also looks great!)
- 1 papaya
- ¼ cup green onion - chopped
- 1 avocado chopped
- 1 tbsp. of fresh squeezed lemon
- 1 tbsp. of olive oil
- 1/3-1/4 cup of olive oil
- Juice of one lemon
- 3 tbsp. of white wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Wash the kale leaves, and make sure they are completely dry.
- Cut the leafy parts from stems. (The stems can be thrown away).
- Chop the kale up into very fine pieces, and place them in a large bowl.
- Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil, and 1 tbsp. of lemon juice to the lettuce mix. Massage the kale for 3 minutes. Then set it aside (This helps break down the lettuce, so that it is more digestible.)
- Cube the papaya and mango, and put them aside, as well.
- Peel the oranges, and slice them into small pieces.
- Chop the green onion up very finely.
- Mix the dressing ingredients in a small closed container. (I love to put my dressing in a small mason jar).
- Shake the ingredients really well.
- Chop avocado into small chunks.
- Add fruit, nuts, green onion, and avocado to massaged lettuce.
- Toss well with dressing, and serve!
- Ten cups of kale seems like a lot but it reduces to about 7 after massaging!