Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Tender kale salad with roasted peppers and feta

Winter isn’t a season synonymous with salads but, with delicious leaves like curly kale in season, you can kick start your New Year with a nutritious and healthy salad. It’s a fantastically versatile dish which can be served hot or cold, with a main dish or on its own – the choice is yours! It’s quick and easy to zap in the microwave or bung on the hob. You can throw it together in about 10 minutes and it keeps really well – I’ve been making it in the evening while I make dinner and then scoffing it at my desk for an easy lunch.

It's a great accompaniment to fish, roasted vegetables or Parma ham (as you can see) but is strong enough to stand alone as a main meal. Choose the low fat feta if you're trying to be virtuous or omit it entirely if you'd rather. I tend to pop a tray of peppers in to roast whenever I have the oven on and then freeze them (any I don't nibble off the tray, at least) for a later date.

Kale salad with roasted peppers and feta
Serves one as a main or two as a side

For the salad:
150g curly kale
1 roasted pepper
100g feta cheese (or similar)
50g mushrooms, sliced

For the vinaigrette:
½ tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar

- Microwave (or sweat in a pan over a low heat) the mushrooms for 4 minutes or until softened and awash with flavourful juices. Drain, keeping the juices for later, and transfer to a salad bowl.
- Remove any thick stalks that linger among your kale leaves. Wash the kale well in a bowl of water, drain (leaving a little moisture on the leaves) and transfer to a microwaveable dish (or pan). Cover with a plate and cook for 3 minutes or until wilted down and tender. Add to the mushrooms.
- Slice the peppers into long strips and crumble or cube the feta before adding both to the bowl with the other ingredients.
- Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients with the mushroom juices and pour over. Serve hot or cold with Parma ham or on its own.

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