Fare Exchange: Preparing fresh kale salad, shortcut chili

Fare Exchange: Preparing fresh kale salad, shortcut chili

May 8th, 2013 by Jane Henegar in Life Entertainment


Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.

Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

Email: janehenegar @gmail.com

Fax: 423-668-5092

Good morning, May readers. May this be a month of sheer loveliness and kitchen innovation. Your requests today, served up first on the menu, are for creamy lemon dressing, farro grain recipes and one-dish salads that include a starch but not necessarily meat.

Jeana Reidl "would love a recipe for a creamy lemon dressing, like one I had on a chopped salad in New Orleans last summer, and for farro recipes."

The next multi-layered request came from Mrs. L. Black Harridan Jr. "I am in the mood for salads as one-dish meals. I don't really need to have meat in them, but I would like rice, orzo or potatoes or some such filling."

Amy Rebollo has been involved in the kale salad discussion and, sure enough, somebody sent her a kale recipe almost immediately. Today she is passing them on. Rebollo added, "I read somewhere on the Web that the raw kale salad at Community Pie is marinated in champagne vinaigrette for two hours before serving. Don't know if that is true or not. Sometimes kale is plenty tender, and sometimes it's not. It sure helps to remove the spines, as the recipe below advises. I like the fact that kale salads can be made in advance."

Five-Step Kale Salad

This vegan salad makes 6 cups.

4 cups chopped raw kale (about 1/2 small bunch)

3/4 cup shredded carrots

1 small avocado, diced

1/2 cup sweet onion, diced

2-3 tablespoons seeds or nuts (I added some mineral-rich pepitas)

Tahini dressing (recipe below)

Wash fresh kale greens. Run each thick leaf under warm to hot water and massage any grit away. Then refresh the leaves by running them all under ice cold water. (The hot and coldest settings on the tap will work.)

Prep ingredients. Remove the thick vein from kale leaves and discard. (It is quite chewy.) Prep other veggies as desired. Chop, dice, cube, shred. Add the chopped kale and veggies to a large mixing bowl.

Make dressing (see below).

Add the dressing to the bowl of veggies and kale and start tossing. Fluff and toss until the dressing is well absorbed into the greens and veggies.

Chill salad, allowing at least an hour for the dressing to really sink into the ingredients. Plus chilling everything makes it refreshing and tasty as a cold salad side. You can even make this salad the night before you serve it. Greens should be eaten within 48 hours.

It is easy to change up the veggie and other add-ins as desired.

Simple Sweet Tahini Dressing

2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)

2 tablespoons maple syrup

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus pinch of zest

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)

2-3 pinches cayenne

Pinch of salt

A few pinches of black pepper

Mix thoroughly.

Make a double batch of dressing if you like your greens more heavily dressed.

Important notes:

To lighten up the dressing, substitute fresh orange juice for the olive oil.

• Use raw agave syrup or brown rice syrup in place of maple, if desired.

• Add a splash of tamari in place of the salt if you have it on hand.

• Be sure to stir, stir, stir first if your tahini settled with oil on top.

• Add a bit of apple cider vinegar if you'd like a perkier, more acidic dressing.

• Use pink Himalayan salt.

• Fresh, finely chopped parsley is a nice touch for this dressing.

An Exchanger who remains anonymous sent a fat envelope of recipes, two of which are given below. The first cookie is described as a spring treat.

Peach Melba Shortbread Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup cold butter

1 cup peach preserves

6 teaspoons raspberry preserves

1/2 cup sliced almonds

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Reserve 1 cup flour mixture.

Lightly grease an 11-by-7-inch or 9-inch square pan. Press remaining flour mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Spread peach preserves over crust in pan. Dollop raspberry preserves by 1/2 teaspoonfuls over peach preserves. Sprinkle reserved 1/2 cup flour mixture over preserves. Sprinkle with almonds.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool 1 hour on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Makes 18 to 24 bars.

Shortcut Chili

The original recipe calls for ground beef, but for our family ground turkey works better and lighter.

1 pound ground turkey

2 teaspoons chili powder

16 ounces mild or medium salsa

15 ounces canned kidney bean with liquid

1 cup water

Fresh cilantro, chopped

Brown ground turkey with chili powder in a skillet. Stir in salsa, kidney beans and water. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes. Smash some of the beans with a spatula to help thicken chili. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro. Add-ons include sour cream, avocado chunks and grated cheese.

Just a Dash ...

Today's bright idea illuminates roasted vegetables. You get great concentrated flavors and little mess if you put a sheet of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, toss 6 cups of your favorite vegetables in a couple of tablespoons of oil and a tablespoon of your favorite seasoning and roast for 15 to 30 minutes, checking and stirring regularly.

What vegetables and how to prepare? In the case of asparagus, trim tough outer part of bottom stalk. Halve Brussels sprouts. Any squashes, any peppers, onions, potatoes, carrots, peeled beets and turnips or whole mushrooms should be sliced into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Serve with rice and, if you choose, meat.

Remember that we are hoping to get your contributions for our new Just a Dash section. What ideas and hints and easy menus and how-to's are making your kitchen life tastier and easier?